Tulare County District Attorney’s Office Launches New Cold Case Website
The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office has launched a new tool to solve cases that, in some cases, have gone decades without prosecution.
A cold case website is now available to help “shed light” on unsolved local homicides, DA officials said. The website contains photos of the victims and descriptions of the crime. Additionally, there are contact numbers for the public to provide advice and other important information.
“The unit is starting to see success, and we hope this website and frequent social media posts will help in their efforts,” District Attorney Tim Ward said.
The unit is seeking information on 13 unsolved homicides, with the first crime reported in 1981 – Michael Morgan. On December 30, 1981, Morgan was killed at the Travel Lodge Hotel at 200 Avenue and Highway 99 in Tulare.
More cases will be added to the website as investigations continue.
The Cold Case Unit was formed in 2019, with the aim of bringing justice to waiting families, DA officials said.
“Time is an important component of homicide cases. Time doesn’t mean forgetting, families and friends don’t forget, and neither do homicide detectives,” Ward said. “When a case is unsolved or has encountered an obstacle, time can offer new technologies, time can offer less pressure for witnesses to come forward, and time can give a new chance to justice.”
Recently, Tulare County detectives closed a 28-year-old cold case. Angelica Ramirez was 10 when she was raped, strangled and thrown into a canal in Pixley. his killer has been identified as Ramiro Villegas.
Villegas lived in Mexico until his death in 2014.
Detectives believe Villegas had a history of child abuse allegations. These claims have not been reported in the United States and Mexico. At least three victims have been identified and interviewed by detectives.
“If anyone has any information regarding a homicide, please contact us,” Ward said. “Somewhere there’s a family member hoping for answers.”
If anyone has information regarding any of these cases, please contact 205-1021 or text 731-0098.