A suspect in the 2004 homicide of a 17-year-old boy has been extradited to Watsonville from Mexico after police first issued a warrant for his arrest 14 years ago, Santa Cruz County prosecutors said.
Mario Alberto Lozano, 32, is currently being held in Santa Cruz County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder with bail set at $5 million.
The alleged homicide happened on Dec. 3 in Watsonville in front of Hector’s Bakery at 301 Airport Blvd. Police responded to reports of a fight at 4:04 p.m. and found Isaac Guzman lying in the street near Aviation Way suffering from stab wounds.
He was transported to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where he died of his wounds. Witnesses assisted police in identifying Lozano as a suspect.
Lozano, who was 18 at the time, fled Watsonville for Mexico within days of the alleged homicide, according to county prosecutors, and his mother was later convicted for aiding in his escape.
Police issued a warrant for Lozano’s arrest on Dec.17, saying many people were involved in a fight that broke out prior to Guzman’s death, but Lozano was allegedly the only one who stabbed him to death.
Multiple American and Mexican law enforcement agencies coordinated to identify, arrest and extradite Lozano, according to District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell.
Rosell said in a statement:
“The victim’s family and our communities can now have some sense of relief knowing that this dangerous individual is no longer running free.”
Lozano will be arraigned in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on Friday in Department 6.