By Holly Sow
Globe ― On July 12, 2012, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office charged 47-year-old Arthur Tarango, Sr. with first degree homicide in connection with the 1995 murder of Hector Mendez. Tarango was contacted by Globe police officers on July 12 at approximately 1:38 p.m. near Broad and Sycamore in reference to a valid child support warrant and booked him in the Gila County Jail. Later that evening Tarango was contacted by a Sheriff’s Office detective in reference to the Mendez case and subsequently charged with First Degree Homicide.
The Gila County Sheriff’s Office put out a press release the following day stating, “Details of the offense are not being released at this point as this is an ongoing investigation and additional interviews are still pending.”
The victim, Hector Mendez, was murdered in 1995 at the “Round Table” recreation site in the Pinal Mountains. The case sat “cold” for 17 years due to insufficient evidence to make a case. Sheriff’s Detective Emmett Dickison has been working on the case for three years, assisted by Detective Ray Hernandez and the Gila County Attorney’s Office, collecting evidence to build a case.
A complaint has been filed with the Gila County Attorney’s Office and is now waiting to be heard by a grand jury.
Det. Dickison refutes some media allegations as to political motivation in light of upcoming elections. Det. Dickison emphasized that he has been working on this case for over three years, collecting evidence, and he would have done the same under any Sheriff or regardless of who is County Attorney.
The Gila County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone who has additional information on this case to contact Det. Dickison at the Sheriff’s Office at 928-425-4449, ext. 4311 or Det. Ray Hernandez at 928-402-4243.