Man enters not guilty plea in 1998 homicide case

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Israel Lomeli By Mike Gertzman Israel Lomeli By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A Valley man who was arrested last month for allegedly killing his friend back in 1998 has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Israel Lomeli, 32, entered the plea on Thursday during his arraignment.

Lomeli is accused of killing 17-year-old Pete Cadriel and placing his body in a dumpster behind a West Phoenix bowling alley.

Cadriel’s body was located on Aug. 8, 1998, but investigators weren’t able to identify Cadriel as the victim until 2009.

According to police, a source came forward this past February and told investigators that Lomeli had shot Cadriel with a shotgun and then asked friends for help getting rid of the body.  

Police proceeded to identify and interview several witnesses who were able to confirm Lomeli’s involvement in the case.

Investigators have since said that Lomeli and Cadriel got into an argument after burglarizing a home.

Lomeli then shot Cadriel at some point during the argument.

Lomeli was arrested last month on a second-degree murder charge at his mother’s home.

He has denied involvement in the case, and reportedly told police that he thought Cadriel had run away to California.

Lomeli is due back in court on May 21.