The Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole last week denied a request by Ramiro Granado, 54, to be granted release before serving his entire 20-year prison term. He was sentenced in 2003.
We are relieved that he is not out and that he will have to finish his entire sentence. We wont have to relive it year after year after year, Joyce Vasquez, the grandmother of victim Cheyenne Vasquez, wrote to the Statesman. Im glad he is not on the streets because we wouldnt want him to re-offend.
With the denial, Granado will no longer have the right to an automatic appeal every two years, said Olivia Craven, the commissions executive director.
After six months, he can petition to come before the commission, but panel members have no legal duty to allow him to appear.
They could see him or not, Craven said.
Cheyenne, 14, was found dead, her body partially submerged in a drainage pond in West Boise, on April 8, 2002. She had been reported missing on Jan. 16 of that year exactly 12 years later, Granado appeared before the parole board. He was reportedly the last person to see her alive.
Granado was a friend of the Vasquez family, and Cheyenne had baby-sat for him several times.
Granado told police he dropped the girl off at a convenience store at West Overland and North Maple Grove roads at 9 p.m. the night she disappeared. He said she began to walk home from there.
Detectives found DNA evidence in his pickup that indicated Granado and Cheyenne had sex in the vehicle. They also found a sweatshirt belonging to Granado near the pond. Granado admitted to the sexual activity but denied killing the girl.
An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of her death. Police called the death suspicious, but no one was ever charged.
Cheyenne would have turned 26 on Jan. 10. Her family gathered at the spot where her body was found and released balloons on her birthday.
We miss her every day, her aunt Rachel Vasquez wrote to the Statesman. Although its been 12 years, we have never stopped fighting for her.
The teens mother and father have both passed away, and other relatives and friends have worked to keep the girls memory alive.
Nineteen relatives and friends sent letters to the parole board, opposing Granados release. Nine attended the hearing.
We will be forever grateful for the boards decision, Rachel Vasquez said. We are thankful we will not have to relive this over and over again at parole hearings. Its the closest to justice we have been.
The family, Vasquez said, holds out hope that someone will come forward and provide information that could bring a murder charge in her nieces death.
We still have so many questions, yet so little answers, she said.
John Sowell: 377-6423, Twitter: @IDS_Sowell