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Police & Fire

Police In Westchester Solve Decades-Old Cold Case

Mount Vernon Police Department.
Mount Vernon Police Department. Photo Credit: File

Police in Westchester have solved a cold case after nearly three decades.

The Mount Vernon Police Department announced that after 27 years, investigators have identified the man who killed local resident Jacinto Liriano, 61, who was murdered in a botched robbery on Friday, May 7, 1993.

Shortly after 10:30 p.m. on the night of the attempted robbery, Liriano, who had immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic the month before, was shot and killed on West First Street.

According to police, detectives worked to locate witnesses for years, but were unable to find anyone to cooperate, despite reopening the case multiple times.

In 2005, detectives once again began to reinvestigate the case, looking over paperwork that had been provided by previous investigators.

Investigators said that a suspect, Daniel James, who was 32 years old at the time, was interviewed by detectives at the Attica Correctional Facility regarding his possible role in the murder.

Police said that though he did not confess to the crime in 2005, James had intimate knowledge of the case and admitted that he was present at the time of the botched robbery and shooting.

Investigators repeatedly returned to Attica to interview James, who in 2007 admitted to attempting to rob Liriano, shooting, and killing him, police said. The new information and confession were brought to the District Attorney’s Office, which was never brought to a grand jury or trial “due to circumstances outside the detective’s control.”

After 27 years, the case was reopened once more, and the District Attorney was again consulted. When the case was reviewed, it was determined that James indeed was the person who murdered Liriano.

Despite the solve, it was determined that Liriano had died from cancer last November while he was incarcerated at the Mohawk Correctional Facility, where he was serving a life sentence for the attempted murder of two Mount Vernon police officers in 1993.

“Although James will never be charged with the murder of Jacinto Liriano,” officials said. "The Mount Vernon Police Department was able to bring closure to this case and to the family of Jacinto Liriano.” 

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