New details in 15-year-old cold case arrest

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We’re learning more about the 15 year old cold case recently cracked by Bakersfield Police Detectives.

We first reported last April that for the first time ever, the Bakersfield Police Department formed a cold case unit. So naturally it was very exciting news to announce the first cold case arrest.

The murder of 39-year-old Renato Morales wasn’t high-profile, really ever. It wasn’t a case that anyone, including friends and family, had contacted the police about in many years. But that didn’t matter to the dedicated detectives, Christina Abshhire and Chance Koerner, who’s jobs is to pick up case files right where detectives left them decades ago. And with the Morales case, what they found is rather shocking.

It was September 2003 when 39-year-old morales was stabbed to death inside the produce warehouse where he worked. The attack was extremely violent. Morales was stabbed 86 times, all over his body. The murder screamed overkill. And for what? Apparently, a cell phone and a television that were stolen from the warehouse.

What makes the crime all the more sickening? 15 years later-after cold case detectives submitted evidence to the crime lab, they got a match to DNA found at the scene to 31-year old Carlos Ramirez Castro. Ee was a stranger to the victim, and just 16 years old when he allegedly unleashed such terror and violence inside that warehouse.

Because Castro was a teenager when prosecutors say he committed the murder, the case was originally in juvenile court but was moved to adult court this week. He’s scheduled to be arraigned for several charges, including first degree murder, next week. Because the case was filed with special circumstances, if convicted, Castro could face life without the possibility of parole. 

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