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Police arrest suspect in 1999 murder of Salinas auto dealership owner

A man was arrested Wednesday in connection with the cold case homicide of an auto dealership owner in Salinas in 1999, police said.

Elias Gutierrez Diaz, 39, died in the shooting in front of his Country Motors auto dealership at 435 E. Alisal St. on Nov. 19, 1999.

On Wednesday, Salinas police arrested 50-year-old Jimmy Torres Rodriguez in Tulare in the Central Valley on suspicion of killing Diaz and transported him back to Monterey County Jail.

Police did not say what led them to identify Rodriguez as the suspected killer. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Ruben Sanchez at (831) 758-7927 or an anonymous tip line at (831) 775-4222.

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