Monday, September 20, 1999

Suspect in April slaying arrested

2 of four others accused in beating death still at-large

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A suspect in an April slaying in Corryville was arrested in Houston on Saturday and waived extradition to Cincinnati.

        Mario Salazar, 26, a native of Mexico living in Houston, is being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center without bond. Mr. Salazar and his three co-defendants were highlighted in The Cincinnati Enquirer's Tristate's Most Wanted feature.

        His aliases included Mario Salazari and Mario Salazar Herrera.

        He is charged with murder in the beating death of Mesias Gonzalez, an immigrant from Ecuador who had for the prior eight months been living in Forest Park.

        Mr. Gonzalez, 20, worked as a skilled plasterer at Synthetic Stucco Corp.

        Police say Mr. Gonzalez was involved in an altercation with four men — including Mr. Salazar's brother, Mauricio Salazar, 28, of Covington — as he left a Corryville bar on April 24.

        Friends later found him dis oriented on the street, and when he passed out, he was taken to University Hospital, where he lapsed into a coma.

        The assault case became Cincinnati police's 13th homicide investigation of 1999 when Mr. Gonzalez died May 6, less than two weeks after the beating. It was the first homicide in Corryville since 1997.

        Mr. Gonzalez's friends raised money to send his body back for his parents to bury in his small hometown in Ecuador.

        One of the suspects, 21-year-old Anibal Hernandez, was arrested in early August at the Flying J Truck Stop in Walton, Ky., after a tip to Boone County police.

        Two other suspects, Mauricio Salazar and Francisco Javier Rodriquez Martinez, remain at-large. The group has ties to Walton, Covington and Verona in Kentucky and Harrison, Ohio.

        All four are charged with one count of murder and face 15 years to life in prison.

        Mr. Martinez is described as Hispanic, 26 or 27 years old, 5-feet-9, weighing 175 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

        Mauricio Salazar is described as 5-foot-8, 145 pounds, Hispanic, with long black hair and brown eyes.


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