Monday, February 25, 2013.
On June 12, 1994, at approximately 4:56 AM, a criminal homicide occurred in the 600 block of Aaron Street, in the City of Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. A male, identified as Jorge Velazquez, age 30, was stabbed and later passed away at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fountain Hill, Lehigh County. Jorge Velazquez’s cause of death was ruled to be a stab wound to the chest and the manner of death was ruled to be Homicide by then Lehigh County Coroner Wayne Snyder (Ret.) and the Deputy Coroner Scott Grim.
An investigation was conducted by Bethlehem Police Detectives at this time and a suspect was identified. That suspect was identified as FRANCISCO MIRANDA, age 30, LKA: 738 E. Fourth Street, Bethlehem, Pa.18015. As a result of that investigation, on June 12, 1994, a criminal warrant was issued for FRANCISCO MIRANDA charging him with Criminal Homicide and Aggravated Assault.
FRANCISCO MIRANDA disappeared at this time. A search was conducted by the Bethlehem Police Department and he was not located in the Lehigh Valley. Information was received that MIRANDA had fled the Lehigh Valley and the State to avoid arrest on these charges. The Pennsylvania State Police became involved and listed MIRANDA as one of Pennsylvania’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. MIRANDA remained on of the Ten Most Wanted until this arrest.
The FBI became involved in the search for FRANCISCO MIRANDA since MIRANDA fled the state, and on July 24, 1994, a federal warrant was issued on MIRANDA charging him with Interstate Flight to Avoid Prosecution. The warrants were entered nationwide. FRANCISCO MIRANDA was not located. In the next year or so, information was received that MIRANDA had fled the United States and was now in Puerto Rico and/or Dominican Republic.
The case lay inactive for several years with no and/or very little additional information being received or developed. In the summer of 2000, the investigation was re-opened as a cold case by Detective Lt. Mark DiLuzio. With assistance from the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office Extradition section, and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force (PSP Trooper/Deputy Marshal Tim Flickinger), the investigation centered on the country of the Dominican Republic as the possible current location for FRANCISCO MIRANDA.
In spring of 2008, information was developed that MIRANDA was spotted and was living in a city in southeastern Dominican Republic. With assistance from U.S. Marshals stationed in the Dominican Republic and Police in the Dominican Republic, on November 27, 2012, FRANCISCO MIRANDA was taken into custody at his mother’s house in the City of La Romana, Dominican Republic.
FRANCISCO MIRANDA was detained in a Dominican Prison in the Dominican Republic pending extradition back to the United States. On Friday, February 22, 2013, U.S. Marshals transported FRANCISCO MIRANDA back to the United States where he was placed under arrest by Bethlehem Police on a charge of Criminal Homicide and Aggravated Assault. MIRANDA is currently incarcerated in Northampton County Prison facing prosecution by the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office.
This arrest was accomplished, as a direct result, of joint and cooperative communication and investigation between local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
This investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information concerning this homicide is asked to contact Detective Lt. Mark DiLuzio at 610-997-7672 or the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office at 610-559-3020.