Md. traffic stop leads to murder arrest
By Candace Rondeaux
Jose Maria Gomez, 41, was driving near the 6600 block of Greenbelt Road when he was stopped for a traffic violation by Greenbelt police about 9:35 p.m. Feb. 12. A computer check revealed that Gomez was wanted on an open warrant for first-degree murder.
During the investigation, detectives learned through witness accounts that Gomez, who was an acquaintance of Velasquez and lived in the same block, allegedly stabbed the victim during an argument.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Gomez but soon learned that he had fled to Guatemala.
Investigators contacted the Guatemalan Embassy and advised officials that a warrant was on file for the suspect.
It was unclear when Gomez reentered the United States. Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a Prince George's County police spokesman, said the investigation into the case is ongoing.
Copeland said investigators were able to corroborate witness accounts of the homicide after interviewing Gomez a few days ago.
In a statement released yesterday, Prince George's Maj. Kevin Davis gave credit to the Greenbelt police in the arrest.
"The closure of this 1993 homicide case shows the importance of traffic enforcement and how the use of traffic stops as a tool can lead to closing much bigger cases," Davis said.
Gomez was being held without bond yesterday at the Prince George's jail.
Copyright 2007 The Washington Post
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