‘Closure:’ Arrest made in 1995 Van Buren County cold case murder


The 27-year manhunt is over.

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office investigators and the FBI have located, arrested, extradited and arraigned Juan Luis Solis-Reyna for the 1995 murder of Jose Cruz Armijo-Arreguin in Van Buren County.

Details of the investigation were announced Wednesday morning at a joint press conference with the county investigators and FBI agents involved with the case. Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott said Solis-Reyna was arrested in Mexico in May, where he had fled following the murder. He was extradited back to Michigan Tuesday night, and was scheduled to be arraigned on the murder charge, a weapons charge and a fleeing charge this afternoon at the Paw Paw courthouse.

The victim’s daughter and other family members were expected to be in the courtroom for the arraignment.

“We’re very happy closure has finally been given to this family,” said Van Buren County Detective Dave Walker, who added it was both his and fellow detective Sharon Van Dam first homicide case as deputies.

“Bringing justice and closure to a case long overdue has been nothing but a very surreal mood for Sharon and I,” Walker said. “For the sheriff allowing me to be there with the family was a very special moment for all of us. It’s a very good day for all of us. I look forward to … [Solis-Reyna] being held accountable for what he did 27 years ago.”

Both Solis-Reyna and Armijo-Arreguin were seasonal migrant workers, and knew each other, according to Abbott. Solis-Reyna was accused of dumping the victim’s body in a grape vineyard in Decatur Township, and were tipped off by s woman who witnessed him dumped the body, Abbott said.

While considered a cold case, Abbott said the issue was not identifying the suspect, but locating him.

“This is one that we were very confident right from the get-go,” Abbott said. “He had lawyered up, so he’s not saying anything [to] us right now, but I can tell you we have a very rock-solid case and we’re very confident.”