Suspect in Rancho Santa Fe shooting found 30 years later

Registered car in Texas under old name

:Simon allegedly shot Jose in a yard on Luna de Miel.
  • :Simon allegedly shot Jose in a yard on Luna de Miel.

Simon and Jose were friends for years, they worked together doing landscape jobs — until they both fell in love with the same woman. Her name is Aurora.

On December 12, 1988, both men were due to work on an estate in Rancho Santa Fe, on a road named Luna de Miel — ironically, this translates as Honeymoon. So Simon knew where he could find Jose that day. The homeowner said she saw a white truck pull up, driven by Simon’s brother, and Simon got out. Jose saw him draw a pistol from his waistband and turned to run. Simon fired 5 shots from a .22 caliber revolver and Jose suffered three bullet wounds. Simon got back into the white truck which drove away, according to the homeowner-witness who called 911.

Deputies found the abandoned truck but the gun has never been found. Simon Loredo Mayo, who was 28 and lived in Escondido at the time, disappeared. The victim Jose survived.

“It was never a whodunnit, it was where is he,” said deputy district attorney Keith Watanabe.

This cold-case attempted-murder from 1988 heated up 30 years later, in December of 2018. Recently, San Diego County Sheriff’s cold case homicide detectives found Simon Loredo Mayo because he registered a vehicle in Texas and used the same name he was using in 1988.

Keith Watanabe revealed that there was “an error in the original arrest warrant” which probably affected results when law enforcement were searching databases, earlier.

On December 11, 2018, the San Diego prosecutor travelled to Texas, and he was present when local authorities arrested their suspect at a construction site. Watanabe was there when the suspect was questioned. Simon Loredo Mayo allegedly admitted fleeing to Mexico, and that he married the woman named Aurora; she reportedly still lives in Mexico. The fugitive also lived in Florida and South Carolina, it is alleged.

Mayo reportedly confessed that he “loaded his revolver in anger.”

Watanabe said of Mayo’s alleged confession, “Maybe he just wanted to get it off his chest after all these years.”

The victim, Jose, survived and still lives in San Diego County, in Valley Center. He was 27 when he was shot and is 58 now. Jose still works daily at landscape jobs. When informed of the recent arrest of Mayo, Jose said he wants to pursue prosecution, according to Watanabe, “He waited thirty years for this day.”

Because of his work commitments, Jose was not there when Simon Loredo Mayo, 58, was first brought before a judge last week, on January 17, 2019. Mayo was assisted by a Spanish speaking interpreter, and represented by a public defender, and pleaded not guilty to two felonies: attempted murder and assault with firearm on a person.

Mayo is described in jail records as Hispanic, 5 feet 5 inches tall and 170 pounds. He is held in lieu of $1 million bail.

The homeowner witness was born in 1939 and she is dead, the prosecutor said. The case will be prosecuted under law that was in effect in 1988, and there is no statute of limitations on aidor and abettor to attempted murder, Watanabe said after the arraignment.The alleged get-away driver, the brother of Simon Loredo Mayo, reportedly still lives in San Diego County.

Simon Loredo Mayo is next expected in court on Friday January 25 to confirm a date for preliminary hearing.

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Seems to be a cultural thing in some. It is all about the "ownership" of a woman.

At a hearing this morning, Simon Mayo was represented by private criminal defense attorney Dan Greene. His bail remains at $1 million. Defendant Mayo is next due in court on March 12, 2019, to set a date for preliminary hearing.

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