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Cary Police Still Searching For Suspect Four Years After Homicide

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oscar perez
CARY, N.C. — A national study just ranked Cary as the ninth safest city of its size in the country.

And over the past three years, the Cary Police Department has made an arrest in all 18 murder or voluntary manslaughter incidents that have occurred in the town's limits. But that streak stops in 2001 with the Cary Police Department's only cold case.

On Memorial Day in 2001, a domestic dispute in Cary ended in gunfire and the death of a bystander. Four years later, the suspect -- 33-year-old Oscar Perez -- is still on the run.

"Our understanding is that he's traveling between Mexico and South Carolina. Possibly, (he) has come back to this area," Captain David Wulff of the Cary Police Department said.

Wulff said arresting Perez would close Cary's only unsolved homicide.

"People have been forthcoming with information," he said. "It's just that because of the time that's gone by, and because we couldn't get our hands on him right away, he slipped away from us."

Wulff said Perez and his girlfriend, 32-year-old Maite Cruz, were arguing in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Wrenn Drive in 2001.

The argument drew the interest of a group of men nearby, and heated words were exchanged. It quickly turned into a brawl involving more than 20 people, and shots were fired. Twenty-year-old Octavio Sanchez of Cary was killed.

"Mr. Sanchez really wasn't involved in the domestic situation himself," Wulff said. "He was basically a bystander when the shots were fired."

Despite the large number of witnesses, no one has come forward with the information police need, Wulff said.

"What we need is someone who knew him then and still knows him now, and those people can put us together with the right person," he said.

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