Garden City cold case heats up

GCPD arrested Frank Rosas on June 22.

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Garden City police have arrested a man they believe is connected to the 1983 killing of Ignacio Vasquez.

More than three decades ago, police found Vasquez’s body outside what once was a club known as “The Gambler.”

Frank Rosas was arrested on suspicion of second degree murder. In 1984, a witness initially identified his brother Toby Rosas as having stabbed Vasquez, but the case was quickly dismissed.

Police Chief Michael Utz said investigators have been following the case for decades but had some luck in the last few months.

“Witnesses cooperated a lot more freely and cooperated in the investigation in helping us put the case together so that we could submit it to the county attorney’s office for prosecution,” said Utz.

Utz says in this particular case, the length of time that passed may have helped the investigation.

“People sometimes mature over 30 years and see the light that it’s time to be cooperative.”

While police continue to check in with cold cases, it’s not very common to get a break in a decades-old investigation.

“I think if it was usual, you’d hear about it a lot more often and there wouldn’t be tv shows about it,” said Finney County Attorney Susan Richmeier, “but in our county, this is the first one I know of to happen in a long time.”

Meanwhile, Vasquez’s family now lives in Nebraska, but they’ve been kept up to date with the progress of the case.

“Once we made the arrest, the family was notified,” said Utz. “They’re very elated.”

A court document lists more than 100 witnesses. Rosas’s next scheduled court appearance is July 17.

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