Friend arrested for murder of teenage boy in 1998

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Police Department cracked a 15-year-old cold case this week.

Pete Cadriel, 17, was found dead in a dumpster behind a bowling alley in west Phoenix in 1998.

Cadriel’s step-father, brother and sister have been waiting for a long time to find out who killed him.

The victim’s sister, Ruth Santos, said she got a "good birthday gift to know that you guys caught the killer of my brother and I'm thankful."

Santos was 13 when her big brother was murdered.

Through a tip, police connected one of Cadriel's best friends from back then, Israel Lomeli, to his murder.

"He was a friend of the family. Like he was a part of the family, one of the guys who would come around and hang out, one of the big brothers," said Santos.

According to Santos, Lomeli acted normal all these years and she was actually friends with him.

Santos’ mother felt differently.

"My mother got that bad vibe every time they came around," said Santos.

Investigators said Lomeli and Cadriel burglarized a home.

While divvying up the goods there was an argument.

Police accused Lomeli of shooting Cadriel and then putting his body in a dumpster.

"We believe that there were perhaps other people there that may have known something about this and for 15 years said nothing," said Sergeant Steve Martos with Phoenix Police.

Cadriel's brother and step-father, Ramon Santos, aren’t angry with Lomeli.

"I know kids do stupid things and I forgive him but justice has to be served," said Ramon.

Martos said more people could be charged in connection with this murder.

Lomeli is facing a second degree murder charge.