ALTON, Ill. – The Alton Police Department has closed a cold case after the suspect in a 2014 murder was transferred from Mexico to Illinois earlier this month.

Odilon Villagran Gudino is now jailed in Madison County, Illinois, over the death of Jose Randolfo Pagoada, a Honduran national, nearly one decade ago.

The investigation dates back to Aug. 5, 2014. Alton police responded to the 2100 block of Seminary Road after a report that someone spotted human remains inside an abandoned vehicle. When they arrived, police found “highly decayed human remains” in the back of the vehicle.

From 2014 to 2018, detectives followed up on a variety of lead to identify the victim and any possible suspects. Detective Joe Splitorff focused on DNA collection and testing. After a DNA analysis, Pagoada was identified as the victim and Gudino was accused in his murder. Investigators also determined Pagoada died from “homicidal violence.”

Alton police learned that Gudino was in the United States illegally at this time of Pagoada’s murder, though he returned to Mexico shortly after that. Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for three counts of first-degree murder and concealment of a homicidal death.

In 2021, through a provisional arrest warrant issued by federal authorities, Gudino was arrested in Morelos, Mexico. Gudino was reportedly held in Mexican custody “pending extradition proceedings,” before he was transfered to the United States on May 16, 2023.

“I am beyond proud of Detective Splittorff and his incredible resolve to ensure justice in this case,” said Alton Police Chief Jarrett Ford. “This is one of the best pieces of investigative work I have ever seen. It is no doubt a once in a career type case. His hard work has ensured that Jose Randolfo Pagoada’s loved ones now have answers as to what happened to their beloved family member. I say it often but this is truly a prime example of the extents the Alton Police Department will go in order to ensure perpetrators of violence are held accountable.”

Alton police also credit agencies in St. Louis County and Madison County, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI, for assisting with the investigation.