Walter Mencken 4 p.m., May 3
Moon Arraigned in Escondido Cold Case
Old fingerprint has the long arm of the law reach out after 31 years.
600 Falconcer Drive Homicide on May 1, 1977; arraignment on January 4, 2008 33.137226, -117.031833
The Escondido Police Department’s recently formed Cold Case Homicide Team, working in tandem with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, arrested 59-year-old Michael Keith Moon for the 1977 murder of Liborio Landin-Vallin, that occurred in Escondido thirty-one years ago.
Moon was arrested without incident on December 12, 2007, by Reno, Nevada, officials. He was extradited to San Diego County and arraigned on January 4, 2008. At the time of his arrest, Moon was on life-time parole for the 1978 murder of a woman in Reno, Nevada. He was convicted in 1982 and served time; he was also arrested in 1991 in Illinois on a stabbing incident in a bar.
The body of of 24-year-old undocumented migrant worker Liborio Landin-Vallin was discovered on May 1, 1977, inside a garage in the 600 block of Falconer Drive by Escondido Police Officer David Sparks, who was conducting a routine security check of homes under construction.
Landin-Vallin's cousin, Gabriel Landin, told police in 1977 that he and Landin-Vallin had played pool at a bar with a white man the night of April 30, 1977. The description of “the white man” was similar to a description of Moon at the time, whose former common law wife owned the bar.
Photographs of a fingerprint found at the crime scene led to evidence pointing at Moon.
The Landin case is the oldest that the Escondido Cold Case Homicide Team was investigating. The Team was formed in May, 2007, and consists of a homicide investigator, a retired Investigations Sergeant, a retired FBI agent, and a retired homicide Lieutenant.