Man Held in 1989 Colorado Drug Slaying


When police arrested 23-year-old Darrell Frank Sanchez Jr. in the crime-ridden Oak View neighborhood this week, the final piece of a baffling, 5-year-old slaying fell into place.

Sanchez is suspected of participating in the 1989 slaying of his best friend, 21-year-old Cory Edge, who police said was beaten with a steel pipe and stabbed 23 times in the basement of Sanchez’s Colorado Springs, Colo., home.

Colorado Springs police say that Sanchez and his younger brother, Jason Sanchez, killed Edge during a fight over rock cocaine that the brothers were allegedly trying to steal from Edge, authorities said.


“We received information from Colorado Springs that Sanchez was a suspect for a murder and was possibly living in our city,” Huntington Beach Police Officer Mike Corcoran said Friday. “We had had previous contacts with him, so we were able to establish his whereabouts and arrest him without incident on Wednesday.”

Sanchez had been living in an apartment in the 17000 block of Emerald Lane for at least six months and had been arrested by Huntington Beach police on four separate occasions since August on drug charges and warrants for unpaid traffic tickets, Corcoran said.

But Sanchez was not linked to Edge’s slaying until last week.

Shortly after finding Edge’s body on Dec. 6, 1989, Colorado Springs police interviewed Sanchez and his family upon learning that the victim had spent the night at their home on the last day he was seen alive, said Colorado Springs Police Sgt. Ray Lachapelle.

But there was no trace of the crime at the house, because the two brothers and their father, Darrell Frank Sanchez Sr., allegedly covered up the slaying by dumping Edge’s body in a remote wooded area just outside the city before returning home to bleach, repaint and retile the walls and floors of the basement, Lachapelle said.

“They had effectively destroyed any physical evidence,” Lachapelle said. “Forensic scientists and police went through the scene, but they were unable to trace any evidence of value.”

Several members of the Sanchez family allegedly knew about the killing, but kept the secret within the family until Jan. 27 of this year, Lachapelle said.

On that day, a family argument escalated into violence and 40-year-old Darrell Frank Sanchez Sr. allegedly was stabbed five times by his brother, Ralph Sanchez. Ralph Sanchez was arrested that day in connection with the attack on his brother and later told police everything he knew about Edge’s death, Lachapelle said.

“He (Ralph Sanchez) was mad, so he starts telling on his brother” as he was being questioned about the fight, Lachapelle said. “We learned firsthand information as to the actions taken by each of the suspects contributing to Cory Edge’s death.”

“This could be a made-for-television movie,” Lachapelle said. “But, I don’t think anyone would believe it.”

Jason Sanchez, 20, who was also arrested on suspicion of murder Tuesday, had stabbed himself several times in the stomach three days earlier over a problem with his girlfriend, Lachapelle said. He is in the same Colorado Springs hospital as his father. Both are expected to recover from their wounds, Lachapelle said.

Darrell Frank Sanchez Sr. was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of being an accessory to murder, Lachapelle said. Several other Sanchez family members may be charged in the future, he said.

Darrell Sanchez Jr. is being held at the Orange County Jail without bail. It is not known when he will be extradited to Colorado to face the murder charge, authorities said.

Times Staff Writer Rene Lynch contributed to this story.