Connell homicide suspect on the lam

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 19, 2013 

A Connell man is on the run, accused of fatally shooting his ex-wife's boyfriend, police said.

Julio Cesar Hernandez, 40, is being sought for Connell's first homicide in 19 years. It's also the first homicide of the year in Benton or Franklin counties.

Connell police were called to the Pioneer Park Apartments, 401 E. Elm St., at 8:30 p.m. Thursday for a report of a possible shooting, Chief Mike Kessler said.

When officers arrived, they found Saul Ramos Arrazate dead. The 30-year-old Connell man appeared to have been shot several times, Kessler said.

Hernandez quickly was identified as the suspect and police started tracking him with a cellphone. As of early Friday, Hernandez was last known to be in the Electric City area, which is about 115 miles north of Connell in Grant County.

While the search for Hernandez was going on, Franklin County sheriff's detectives helped Connell police collect evidence and process the shooting scene.

Kessler released a picture Friday afternoon of Hernandez, who last was seen in a black 1988 Ford Mustang with Washington license plate 011UZQ.

Hernandez is considered armed and dangerous, the chief said.

Arrazate's name was released Friday afternoon by Franklin County Deputy Coroner Amanda Richmond after she was able to make contact with his family in Mexico.

An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday, she told the Herald. The autopsy will be performed by Dr. Sig Menchel, a forensic pathologist from Bellevue.

The last homicide in Connell was in February 1994 when 14-year-old Mandy Hastings was shot and killed by Christopher Kells, 16, who loaded a revolver with a single bullet, pointed it at Hastings and pulled the trigger.

Kells, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, was released from prison in 2002.

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