20-year-old Halloween murder solved

Bay Area

File photo. (Credit: Getty Images)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Santa Clara officials believe they have solved a cold case that took place on Halloween 20 years ago.

Brothers Eutropio Dagaray, Francis Dagaray and accomplice Gilbert Meriales, members of the Bahala Na gang, were looking for revenge on Oct. 31, 2001 after Meriales had been beaten up earlier in the evening, according to police.

Police say they found then 22-year-old Nhin Phi Ha and a friend outside of an apartment building on Avalani Drive and attacked, wielding butterfly knives and broom sticks and wearing face paint.

Ha was stabbed to death. The other man suffered significant injuries but ultimately lived.

The survivor’s brother ran down from his apartment and hurled a kitchen knife at the suspect’s SUV, striking it as it drove away.

A balisong knife was left at the scene.

Years went by with good leads, but no definitive case.

Earlier this year the case was picked back up and investigators were able to pull together incriminating statements of now cooperative witnesses, as well as numerous postings by the suspects on Facebook showing themselves as members of the Bahala Na gang.

Eutropio Dagaray, Francis Dagaray and Meriales, now in their 40’s, face life in prison if convicted of their murder charges.

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