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Previously overlooked witnesses help police solve 1996 cold case murder

Francisco Rangel, 41, accused of stabbing man to death

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police say they’ve solved a cold case murder with help from two witnesses who previously had been overlooked.

They arrested Francisco Rangel, 41, Thursday on a charge of murder.

An arrest warrant affidavit said detectives recently took a second look at the case file connected to the April 1996 stabbing death of Joseph Johnson, 18.

Johnson’s body was found in an abandoned house in the 700 block of W. Mistletoe.

The affidavit said detectives contacted at least two people with knowledge of the case, and both identified Rangel as the suspect.

They had to travel to Florida to talk to one of those witnesses, a man who now lives in that state.

That man told police he didn’t speak up at the time of the murder because he was young and afraid.


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