Merced police revisiting 2003 murders after new technology reveals new leads

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The new images show a clear picture of a possible suspect involved in the murders of 18-year-old Ismael Alcaraz, who was killed near Meadows and Olive, and the death of 19-year-old Francisco Huerta who was killed by Club Mercedes. (KFSN)

The murder cases are decades old, but Merced police say new technology is bringing some of their cold cases back to light.

Detectives were able to connect two homicides that happened a day apart back in 2003 after they say new video technology allowed images of the suspect to become more clear.

"We're able to grab old surveillance video and slow it down, play it frame by frame instead of a running video and just pause it," Sgt. Curt Gorman with the Merced Police Department explained.

For Araceli Alcaraz, it's been the first sign of hope in 14 years since her brother Ismael was killed.

"We're hopeful something good will come out of this, and we'll have closure soon," she said.

The images show a clear picture of a possible suspect involved the murders of 18-year-old Ismael Alcaraz, who was killed near Meadows and Olive, while the other was 19-year-old Francisco Huerta who was killed by Club Mercedes.

Gorman says detectives were able to connect the cases with new forensic developments and DNA left behind at both scenes.

"What wasn't useful five years ago can be useful now," he said. "It could be something you left behind."

Gorman says after looking back at old surveillance video, they're also able to get a clear shot of a suspicious car possibly involved in the murder of Alberto and Miguel Narvaez back in 2013.

"You couldn't make out what it was," he said. "Through the advancements in tech, we were able to able to identify a make and model of the car."

Gorman says their new technology will allow them to open more cold cases as they move forward. In the meantime, Alcaraz says she's hoping for the best possible ending.

"Hopefully with what the police has put out, we'll get some leads, and justice will be served for my bother," she said.

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merced countyhomicide investigationMerced
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