Police car
Reyes' arrest took place on the same day as Lasswell's murder 20 years ago Via Pexels

Phoenix Police has made an arrest in connection to the murder of a teenager 20 years ago. The person in question is 37-year-old Sergio Francisco Reyes, suspected of murdering Elena Lasswell in 2024. His arrest took place on the exact same day of the murder two decades later.

Police recalled that, back then, officials found Laswell in a home near 23rd Avenue and Thomas Road. Officials attempted lifesaving measures but "Lasswell did not survive her injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene," reads a passage of the police statement reported by Fox 10 Phoenix.

The investigation eventually went cold, but received a new lead in 2012 after DNA collection techniques allowed detectives to identify a profile that matched that of Reyes. The evidence was processed in 2013 and the next year a Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted Reyes, who was living in Mexico at the time. He was extradited and now stands accused of committing multiple violent felonies, including sexual assault and first degree murder.

Speaking to the outlet, Lasswell's aunt celebrated the arrest, saying that "knowing someone is being held responsible feels awesome." "It's been a long haul, and thank god for Phoenix PD. They have been absolutely amazing. I just really felt that they were on the right trail, and that they would get it. I just didn't know when," said Katie Tourville.

She added that the girl's mother has passed away since the murder and that she didn't wish revenge for the crime, but for Reyes to "be caught so he couldn't hurt anyone else."

In another passage of the interview, Tourville called Reyes a monster, saying it's hard to see one "in real life because they don't look like what we grew up thinking a monster was." Reyes has been booked into jail on suspicion of the aforementioned crimes.

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