2009 murder trial set to start Oct. 17

CONYERS -- The murder trial of an Atlanta man is scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 17, in a case where the body of a 19-year-old Mexican citizen was found in 2009 in the woods near Lake Capri Road.

Humberto Lorenzo-Diaz, 32, faces murder and firearm charges in the death of Fernando Mondoza Vazquez, also known as Raul Ramirez, of Mexico.

Two people driving along Lake Capri Road on March 5, 2009, noticed what appeared to be a body lying on the ground in a wooded area of the 2100 block of Lake Capri Road. They drove back by and yelled out, but when they received no response they pulled over and called 911.

Investigators found the body surrounded by several bullet casings. Vazquez died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Rockdale County Sheriff's Office investigators were skeptical they would ever make an arrest in the murder. Information on Vazquez was sketchy, at best, at the time of his death.

Months after the killing, the Sheriff's Office investigators caught a break in the case when the federal Drug Enforcement Agency notified them that one of their prisoners claimed to have information about the slaying.

Lorenzo-Diaz was identified as the suspected gunman. RCSO investigators ran a background check on him and learned he had just been released from DeKalb County on charges there, but a handgun had been left in the property room that was believed to have been used in the Vazquez murder.

A ballistics test of the gun matched evidence from the death scene and an arrest warrant was issued for Lorenzo-Diaz, who was taken into custody in October 2009.

Lorenzo-Diaz has remained in the Rockdale County Jail since his arrest on an $1 million cash-only bond.