Cold case: Three arrested in 2001 stabbing in East San Jose

SAN JOSE — The revival of a 20-year-old murder investigation has led to three men being arrested last week in connection with a 2001 gang-related stabbing in East San Jose, according to police.

Francis Dagayray, Eutropio Dagayray, Gilbert Meriales (San Jose Police Dept.) 

On the evening of Oct. 31, 2001, 22-year-old Nhin Phi Ha was found stabbed and mortally wounded in front of an apartment on Avalani Avenue near Luby Drive, east of King Road. An 18-year-old man who was with Ha was also stabbed several times but survived.

According to police and Mercury News archives, two men were initially sought in the aftermath of the homicide, after they were seen fleeing in a dark-colored SUV.

San Jose police said the killing had been revisited over the past two decades by detectives to no avail, but in August, the case became a focus of a cold-case team staffed by SJPD detectives and investigators with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

The renewed investigation led to the identification of three suspects in the killing, a list that now included the presumed driver of the SUV.

“A fresh set of eyes were put on the case which led to re-contacting witnesses who, for whatever their reasons, cooperated more than when they were initially interviewed 20 years ago,” police spokesman Sgt. Christian Camarillo said.

Wednesday, police said they arrested the men in San Jose: Eutropio Dagayray, 47; Francis Dagayray, 45; and Gilbert Meriales, 45. They were all booked into the Main Jail in San Jose on charges encompassing murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and allegations of gang motives.

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Authorities have not released additional details about the cold-case investigation; case records were not immediately available because Monday was a court holiday.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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