Posted August 28
A Mexican citizen is behind bars at the Douglas County Jail awaiting murder charges from a case that goes back to 1980.
Omaha Police detectives picked up Oscar Rosario Hernandez, 51, from a county jail in New Mexico Monday night.
Nearly two weeks ago, border patrol arrested Hernandez for illegally entering the country. When agents checked his fingerprints, they got a match regarding a murder warrant in Omaha.
Hernandez did not fight extradition.
He's accused of killing Vickie DeAnda, 29, in a South Omaha apartment at 24th & Oak in September 1980.
Investigators told Channel Six News the two had some sort of prior relationship.
Oscar Rosario Hernandez, 51, went before a magistrate in New Mexico on Wednesday.
He was arrested Friday for illegally entering the country and then his fingerprint tipped off investigators to the murder warrant.
Omaha detectives have ten working days to get him.
He's accused of killing Vickie DeAnda in September 1980.
Her body was found in a south Omaha apartment -- tucked inside a closet.
Investigators tell Channel Six News the two had some sort of prior relationship.
What is critical now, according to investigators, is finding the people who worked on the original case -- detectives, crime lab technicians, witnesses. So far, police have found a number of individuals who may be retired but played a critical role in the 1980 investigation.
"It's a necessity," said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine. "Even if it's 30-years-old there's still the confrontation clause that applies. The defendant has the right to confront the witnesses against him. So we have to have the people there."
"It was a big story," remembers Tom Drelicharz as we caught up to him at his West Omaha home. He remembers September 11, 1980.
He was just a teenager getting ready to mow his father's South Omaha apartment property at 24th and Oak.
"There was a cop at the door and he asked me if I had keys to the place, said Drelicharz. "We walked up and started to smell something. I wondered what was going on."
He still finds it hard to believe that after all this time -- 32-years -- there's been an arrest. He figured it would go unsolved.
Last Friday -- border patrol in southwestern New Mexico arrested a man for illegally entering the country.
Agents ran his fingerprints and got a hit on Oscar Rosario Hernandez -- a 51-year-old citizen of Mexico who was wanted for murder in Omaha.
The victim is Vickie J. DeAnda. She was 29 when she died. One of her friends, Chris Watts, called police for a welfare check at the apartment. Watts had not heard from Vickie for 7 days.
Investigators haven't said where they found Hernandez's fingerprint at the crime scene.
We do know he's been able to avoid arrest for three decades.
A murder warrant with his name on it went out five days after the victim was found in a closet in apartment number three.
" I hate going in that closet," said Drelicharz, who was there the other day doing some plumbing.
His father remembers that Omaha Police thought they knew who was responsible for the murder at the time, but thought the guy had left the country.
Omaha detectives plan to meet with the county attorney on Wednesday to determine how to proceed. Investigators have been going over the 32-year-old evidence and tracking down witnesses to evaluate the strength of case.
Hernandez remains in a New Mexico jail. He will eventually be extradited to Omaha.
On Friday, a border patrol agent arrested 51-year-old Oscar Rosario Hernandez near Lordsburg, New Mexico.
He's being held in a jail there, until he's extradited back to Omaha.
In addition, he'll be charged for trying to enter illegally into the U.S.