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FBI calls for help in finding suspect in 2005 slaying

He has been on the run since 2005, suspected of being the triggerman in a brazen execution-style shooting at a Santa Rosa apartment.

Ricardo Puentes Jr., 35, is among the Santa Rosa Police Department's most wanted suspects.

The FBI on Wednesday recirculated a photo of Puentes in the San Francisco Bay Area and two other cities where he has ties: Meridian, Miss., and Everett, Wash.

"We're trying to see if we get any leads; if people recognize his photo we hope they will call," FBI agent Julianne Sohn said.

Puentes is wanted in the Jan. 15, 2005, killing of Semere Girmai, 27, of Santa Rosa in what prosecutors and police have described as a cold-blooded killing motivated by disputes over drugs and gang turf.

Police said Puentes and two other men showed up at the Hoen Avenue apartment in the early morning hours. Puentes allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot Girmai several times in the head, face and chest and then shot another man in the arm.

Puentes is known to have visited family in Santa Rosa. But he has eluded capture, despite extensive efforts over the last eight years to find him, said Santa Rosa Police Sgt. David Linscomb, who runs the violent crimes bureau.

"He knows he is wanted and he is on the run," Linscomb said.

Puentes is suspected of changing his appearance with weight gain and loss as well as other disguises.

Puentes was described as a Latino man, 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-9, 190 pounds with black hair and brown eyes and several moles on his face.


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