Citing new evidence in the Carina Saunders slaying investigation, prosecutors have received more time to charge the only person jailed in her slaying, court papers show.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed a 10-day extension July 13 on behalf of Bethany police to give detectives more time to prepare their case against Luis E. Ruiz.
District Judge Donald Deason granted the extension, giving prosecutors until Monday to charge Ruiz with a crime or release him from custody.
Ruiz, 37, of Oklahoma City, was arrested July 5 on a murder complaint in the death of Saunders, a 19-year-old Mustang woman whose dismembered body was found in a duffel bag in Bethany in late 2011.
Bethany police Detective Austin Warfield requested the extension “due to the enormity of the case and new evidence that has arisen,” according to a court document filed Monday.
“New information has been attained and (we are) in the process of committing that info to reports,” Warfield wrote in the document.
Prosecutors have 10 days to file charges once a suspect is jailed; if no charge is filed, the person is released unless an extension showing good cause is approved, First Assistant District Attorney Scott Rowland said Tuesday.
“This prevents us from putting someone in jail on a high or no bond, and then dragging our feet in filing the charge to keep them in jail without having to prove a crime,” Rowland said.
The victim's body was found Oct. 13 behind a Homeland grocery store at NW 23 and Rockwell.
Police have said they are considering suspects who are jailed on charges of drug and human trafficking, but no one has been charged with first-degree murder yet.
Detectives said they have interviewed more than 80 witnesses and followed hundreds of leads in the case.