Southern California man convicted for murder after fleeing to Mexico, turning himself in

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The Santa Ana Police Department announced a man has been convicted of second-degree murder for the 2020 slaying of a 57-year-old woman.

Officers made a grisly discovery on Oct. 26, 2020 when they responded to a call about an unconscious woman in a vehicle located in the 600 block of West Russell Street.

When they arrived, they found the body of Natalia Gamino Jaimes. She had been reported missing four days earlier from the city of Lake Forest.

After Jaimes’ death was ruled a homicide, investigators identified Jose Valdez Jimenez as the suspect. Detectives served several search warrants and tried to contact Jimenez several times, before determining that he had fled the country.

Although Jimenez had escaped to Mexico, authorities were able to get in contact with him by phone. In January of 2021, Jimenez called a detective and confessed that he had strangled Jaimes to death and drove her body to Santa Ana, leaving the woman inside a vehicle.

Authorities began the extradition process between the U.S. and Mexico and began to zone in on capturing Jimenez.

Deputies caught a break a short time later. On May 26, 2021, Jimenez contacted the same detective and told him that he was at the Mexican border and was ready to turn himself in to authorities.

Jimenez was arrested without incident and charged with murder.

On Friday, a jury convicted Jimenez of second-degree murder. He will be sentenced at a later hearing.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.