Arrest in killing of woman found in shallow grave in 2003

August 15, 2021 GMT

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. (AP) — A 47-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of killing a woman found in a shallow grave near a California mountain town nearly two decades ago, sheriff’s officials said.

When human remains were discovered in May 2003 near Mammoth Lakes, authorities could only determine the victim was a woman about 30 to 40 years old of indigenous ancestry from southern Mexico.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office said recent advances in DNA technology allowed investigators to identify the victim as Isabel Sanchez Bernal, 30, of Puebla, Mexico.

The identification led to the arrest on Friday, the sheriff’s office said in a statement. Officials did not indicate how detectives determined the suspect was involved in the woman’s death.

The suspect was held without bail.