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A killer left a trail of bloody footprints after stabbing a man, but has eluded police for 15 years

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Source: Cold Case Rhode Island; Unsplash

Dec. 18 2021, Published 3:59 p.m. ET

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Despite a trail of bloody footprints at the scene, Rhode Island police have yet to figure out who stabbed Juan Oquendo to death 15 years ago.

Police are still asking for someone from the public to come forward and help solve the homicide.

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Around 12:30 a.m. on June 1, 2006, police in Central Falls, Rhode Island, responded to Hacker’s Pub for a reported stabbing. When officers arrived, they found Oquendo — who used the nickname “Carlos” — in the backyard bleeding heavily.

The stabbing happened in the second-floor apartment above the bar, according to Cold Case Rhode Island, a website managed by the Pawtucket police Cold Case Unit.

Oquendo died about an hour after he was found, police said.

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There was evidence of a struggle and the suspect fled out the door and towards Pine Street, police said. The suspect left a trail of bloody footprints. But more than a decade later, the killer has not been caught.

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Central Falls police Det. Jeff Araujo told WPRI about what it was like arriving at the scene.

“They were trying to clot and stop the bleeding,” Araujo said. “Putting on shirts, anything they can find.”

The officer described Oquendo as a typical working 9-5 guy with no criminal past. He was liked by the people around him and that he enjoyed himself at the end of the day.

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Oquendo was from the Dominican Republic and lived in Central Falls for a decade before the stabbing, WPRI reported.

Araujo said police have suspects and evidence in the case but still hope for help from the public.

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“To this day, we still believe we have something that will get us there, but we also believe the public can help us with this one too,” Araujo told WPRI.

Anyone with information on Oquendo’s killing is asked to contact (877) 747-6583.

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