Suspect in decades-old fatal drive-by shooting apprehended in Mexico

The Reading Police Department Criminal Investigations Division announced Monday the arrest of 43-year-old Israel Mendoza in connection to a drive-by shooting that occurred on August 2, 1998 in the City of Reading.

Last week, members of the U.S. Marshalls Office and local law enforcement took Mendoza into custody in Jalisco, Mexico. He was wanted in relation to the homicide of Michele Lutz, who was shot and killed in the back on Front and Elm Street.

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The investigation at the time of the incident yielded four suspects; Placido Rodriguez, Joshua Ramirez, Israel Mendoza, and Robert Radhames-Herrera. In 1998, Rodriguez and Ramirez were arrested and pleaded guilty to conspiracy of 3rd-degree murder. Both suspects were sentenced to 10 to 20 years in state prison.

Mendoza is now in custody, but Radhames-Herrera remains at large. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact The Reading Police Department at (610)-655-6116 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.

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