A family of a 1994 murder victim in Bethlehem is relieved that police finally nabbed their suspect nearly two decades later. They found out about the arrest from 69 News.
"Hello, Detective DiLuzio?", said Rene Velazquez on the phone.
It's the call Velazquez has waited two decades to make -- the call to thank police for catching the man suspected of his brother's murder. Jorge Velazquez, Jr., was stabbed to death in the summer of 1994. U.S. Marshals arrested a suspect in the Dominican Republic in November, and extradited him back to the United States on Friday.
Velazquez learned of the arrest from watching 69 News.
"[My daughter] told me to watch the news at 5:00 because they found the guy who killed my brother," he said.
At the time, witnesses fingered Francisco Miranda, who vanished for nearly two decades. For years, Miranda was on Pennsylvania's Most Wanted Fugitives list. Authorities discovered him living with his mother in La Romana, D.R.
Five years ago, Velazquez said someone tried to extort money out of the family.
"Someone anonymously tried to contact my dad and tried to swindle $5,000 off of him," he said.
Miranda is now back in the U.S., locked up in the Northampton Co. Prison.
"We had lost a little bit of hope for some time, thinking it was just going to be another cold case," said Velazquez.
For the victim's father, who just turned 82 on Sunday, it was an amazing birthday gift.
"Feels good that the case is done now," said Jorge Sr.
Velazquez's family said they still have a lot of questions about exactly what happened that night, but are relieved Miranda is finally behind bars.
Allentown, PA 18102