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    48Y Prison in 2010 Cold Case Murder in Edgewater

    Francisco Rojas Carbajal, 32, was in Jefferson County Court today where he was sentenced to 48 years in prison for the cold-case murder of 42-year-old Julia Abarca. Rojas pled guilty to Second Degree Murder and Identity Theft on October 9.

    On January 2, 2011 Julia Abarca was found dead in her home at 2608 Kendall Street in Edgewater. She died of asphyxiation by strangulation. At the request of Edgewater police, Jefferson County District Attorney investigators were called in to assist with the investigation.

    Investigators found that between December 28, 2010 and January 4, 2011, there were 33 financial transactions made using her debit cards, totaling $1570.

    In August 2011 a warrant was issued for the arrest of Francisco Rojas, Julia Abarca’s live-in boyfriend, for theft and unauthorized use of her debit cards.

    The trail of potential witnesses dried up in 2012. Early in 2013, the case was turned over to the DA’s Investigations Unit. They began to reevaluate the evidence and develop new leads in the slaying.

    Rojas was arrested for the murder of Julia Abarca on June 30, 2013.

    At the sentencing hearing today many of Julia Abarca’s family members were present and addressed the court. As District Judge Dennis Hall sentenced Rojas to the maximum on the Second Degree Murder count he said that he found it significant that this murder was different from a stabbing or shooting. He said that because Mr. Jojas strangled Julie Abarca to death, he could have stopped at any time. The Judge also found that the use of the victim's credit card at liquor stores following the murder illustrated his lack of remorse.

    “We are very pleased with the sentence in this case and hope that this helps Julia Abarca’s family to heal and to begin to move forward,” said District Attorney Peter Weir, “Solving “cold cases” is critically important in our office. We will be relentless in our pursuit of justice for victims of violent crimes, no matter how old the case. The Colorado Bureau of Investigations, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Edgewater Police Department did an outstanding job in helping us hold Mr. Rojas accountable for the murder of Julia Abarca.”

    Rojas was sentenced to 48 years in prison for Second Degree Murder and six years in prison for Identity Theft. The judge ordered the sentences to be served concurrently.

    Pam Russell
    DA Public Information

    December 5, 2013

    Francisco Rojas Carbajal

    Last Updated: 12-5-2013
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    A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.