Suspect Arrested in 22-Year-Old Kaufman Cold Case Murder

Detectives in Texas, Kansas team up to solve homicide case from 1994

Things tend to move at their own pace in the city of Kaufman. For two decades the wheels of justice moved slowly as the department worked to solve the murder of Francisco Salazar.

On June 9, 1994, the 25-year-old was fatally shot outside a laundromat in the 1000 block of South Washington Street.

"What we were told from witnesses was that two individuals, of course our suspect and our victim, were in an argument back here in the alley. The suspect opened fire on the victim," said Detective Jason Stastny, who started investigating the case last month.

An eyewitness identified Alvaro Iglesias Rodriguez, but days after a warrant was issued for his arrest, he fled to Mexico. The case went cold.

Twenty-two years later, a decision by the Kaufman County sheriff to start publishing a list of most-wanted suspects resulted in a tip.

"Because this is the only unsolved homicide here in Kaufman, he put that out there to further the case," said Detective Tommy Black. "A tip developed that basically advised us where Mr. Rodriguez was."

Rodriguez was located in Wichita, Kansas, living under an assumed name. Detectives in both jurisdictions successfully matched Rodriguez's fingerprints from two separate crimes. He was taken into custody by Wichita police before Black and Stastny confronted him with their evidence.

"He sighed. He kind of looked down. He realized, in my opinion, that he knew that he had been caught," Stastny said.

Rodriguez was charged with murder, and the Kaufman County District Attorney hopes to have him extradited back to Texas to stand trial.

Authorities are trying to track down Salazar's family in Mexico to tell them the news.

"It was gratifying to know that after 22 years the family of the victim would finally get justice," Stastny said. "We're glad to finally put this case to rest."

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