Author Topic: 15 yr old Cold Case solved: 7 yr old Diana Hernandez murdered  (Read 11482 times)

Sleuth

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I sometimes wonder about Police and solving this type of crime, which to my mind sometimes takes too long. Whatever happened to checking what pedo's lived in the building at the time of the little girl's disappearance. Generally the pedo is found living near by.

Police make arrest in 15-year-old homicide case

By Mary Manning (contact)

Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (11:56 a.m.)
Click to enlarge photo

Greg Wallen Jr.

Metro Police announced today the arrest of a man in a 15-year-old unsolved homicide case in which a 7-year-old girl was sexually assaulted.

Police arrested and charged 36-year-old Greg Wallen Jr. with one count of murder and one count of sexual assault with a victim under 14 years old, according to Clark County Detention Center records. There has been no bail set.

Diana disappeared from her parents' Las Vegas apartment complex. Police eventually found her nude body in a box tossed into one of the apartment's trash bins. She had been sexually assaulted and suffocated.

A fingerprint and a DNA sample matched Wallen to the girl's body and to contents inside a trash bin where he dumped the body, police said.

He is a suspect in the death and sexual assault of Diana Hernandez who disappeared after a shopping trip with her mother and her two sisters, one of them a twin, as her mother stopped in the apartment's office to pay rent.

A review of the cold case had begun in January when family members and witnesses were re-interviewed, a police report said.

Detectives also reviewed evidence taken from the Sandpiper Apartment complex located at 3955 Algonquin Ave., near Flamingo Road and Maryland Parkway.

Among those who had helped the mother search for Diana, Gregory Martin Wallen's name appeared. Police learned he was a convicted sex offender, registered on July 19, 1999 after a sexual assault in 1992 in Pahrump, a town 60 miles west of Las Vegas.

Detectives reviewed a list of people living at the Sandpiper Apartment complex at the time of the murder and discovered Wallen had a unit there, in the same building as Diana and her family.

Police compared Wallen's deoxyribunucleic acid (DNA) with samples taken from Diana's body and used a partial fingerprint found on the outside of the box where her body had been found. The samples from the girl's body matched Wallen's, police learned.

When detectives returned to the apartment complex, now called Hesperian Falls, they saw that Diana Hernandez and her family lived on the second floor of the same building where Wallen resided.

Metro Detective Stephen Popp also interviewed in April Ramiro Robles Guerrero, who had helped search for the missing girl with Wallen, who had a wife and young child with him at the time. Wallen told Guerrero that he was possibly the last person to see Diana, police said.

After Diana was found a day after she disappeared on April 2, 1994, Metro investigators began comparing notes with similar kidnapping and assault cases across the country.

A sexual assault suspect captured in Charlotte, N.C., in March 1997 caught Metro Police attention because of the similarities in other cases of child abduction and sexual assault. But he was never charged in Diana's case.

Police were pursuing other child abduction cases as well.

In August 1995 in Salt Lake City, someone removed a screen covering a bedroom window where 6-year-old Rosie Tapia slept. The suspect climbed into the basement apartment and took the child. Later that morning a jogger found her body in a canal.

In September 1990, Monica DaSilva, 7, disappeared from her Reno apartment while her parents slept. Someone had removed a window screen and snatched their daughter from her bed in a ground-floor apartment. Monica's skeletal remains were discovered three weeks later in a canyon 10 miles east of Reno.


« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 10:38:17 PM by Sleuth »