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Suspect sought in Newhall cold case

Posted: May 24, 2014 12:54 p.m.
Updated: May 24, 2014 12:54 p.m.

This Sept. 15, 1998 clipping from The Signal shows a photo of suspect Miguel Angel Morales Orozco who is still wanted in a case of attempted murder of a man in Newhall on Sept. 13, 1998.

 

A man nearly killed 16 years ago when he was viciously stabbed in his Newhall home called a local sheriff’s lieutenant recently with a simple message for investigators, said Deputy Josh Dubin.

“He told the lieutenant ‘on that day, my life was dramatically changed forever’ and that’s all he told him,” said Dubin.

For Lt. Mark Hershey, Dubin and the rest of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the 1998 stabbing on Walnut Street was a cold case.

Hershey and Dubin have now dusted off the file, reopened the case and renewed the search for Miguel Angel Morales Orozco, prime suspect in the attempted murder.

The victim lost so much blood in the attack that detectives had to wait at his hospital bedside until his body was “re-supplied” with blood. And, when that was complete, they had to wait some more since questioning the victim was made difficult due to the tubes in his throat, according to reports in The Signal at the time.

The victim, now 48, suffered multiple stab wounds, a collapsed lung and a severed artery.  He has since recovered and has moved away from the Santa Clarita Valley, Dubin said.

He and his alleged attacker knew each other when they were neighbors in Newhall 16 years ago but the sheriff’s prime suspect is nowhere to be found, he said.

“This crime hasn’t been solved and this guy is still outstanding,” Dubin told The Signal Thursday. “In mid-1998, we didn’t have social media so now, Lt. Hershey wants to get the word out there and see what happens.”

Hershey hopes discussion of the case will prompt someone to recognize the suspect or report where he is.


KITCHEN KNIFE
Miguel Angel Morales Orozco was 22 when he almost killed his victim, allegedly.  

In two months he turns 38.  Where he celebrates his birthday, however, remains a mystery for detectives who don’t even know if he’s still in the area, Dubin said.

At 2:45 a.m. Sunday Sept. 13, 1998, someone entered a residence in the 24800 block of Walnut Street and stabbed a Newhall man at least four times in the upper torso with a kitchen knife, former Lt. Tim Peters told The Signal at the time of the attack.

The victim managed to dial 911 and when responding deputies arrived at his doorstep he was “bleeding profusely from multiple stab wounds,” a reporter for The Signal wrote at the time.

The victim was rushed to the hospital, but lost consciousness before he was able to supply any information to deputies.

As the sun came up that day, Lt. Dan Castillo, formerly with Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, told The Signal reporter that he had to wait to interview the victim because he was only “semi-conscious.”

“But, because of the extent of his injuries he had to be re-supplied with blood, so we haven’t had a chance to question him yet,” Castillo said.

Detectives searched inside the Walnut Street home and the area surrounding it for possible suspects but found nothing.

“We’ve talked to the neighbors but we have no leads,” Castillo said at the time.

“We believe this was motivated by revenge,” Peters told a Signal reporter at the time. “We’re still concerned about further acts of revenge, so we’re not releasing the victim’s name.”

Sixteen years later, deputies are still concerned for the victim’s safety and will still not reveal his identity.

“We’re still concerned for his safety,” Dubin said Thursday.

ARREST WARRANT
Within 24 hours of the attack, deputies issued a warrant for Orozco’s arrest.  There’s still a $1 million warrant out for his arrest, Dubin said.

The suspect was described at the time as Hispanic, with black hair and brown eyes, 5-foot-10, about 180 pounds with a thin mustache.

At the time of the incident, detectives believed that he may have suffered a cut hand during the attack.  If that was the case, that injury has surely healed.

Some of the scars suffered by the victim, however, have never fully healed, according to descriptions of the victim provided by Dubin.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Hershey or Dubin at 661-287-5527.

jholt@signalscv.com

661-287-5527

On Twitter @jamesarthurholt






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