The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office announced that 57-year-old Arsenio “Archie” Pacheco Leyva, of Castroville, pleaded guilty to a 1990 murder and 1993 attempted kidnapping.
He was charged with the first-degree murder of 14-year-old Christy Sue Pina, whose body was found in an artichoke field in Castroville in February 1990. Pina had turned 14 the month before her naked body was found by workers in a field near Highway 1. She had been raped, strangled and stabbed to death.
Leyva was on probation for unlawful intercourse with two 14-year-old girls in 1987. Leyva’s family owned multiple businesses in the area where Pina’s body was found. DNA testing in 1990 was not advanced enough to identify Leyva as the killer, but also did not rule him out.
Leyva also pleaded guilty to a 1993 attempted kidnapping of a minor with the intent to commit rape and assault of a minor with the intent to rape. In September 1993, a 13-year-old girl was walking to school on East Bolivar Street in Salinas. She walked past a Dodge van parked along the curb, and Leyva jumped out, grabbed her and tried to pull her into the van. He tried to grab her jacket and forced his fingers into her mouth to try to get her in. She tried to fight Leyva off and was able to grab the bumper of the van. She held on until a good Samaritan saw what was happening and went to help her. Leyva got away before he could be caught, but the good Samaritan got a partial license plate. The van was found abandoned at a nearby apartment complex later. Both the girl and the witness identified Leyva in photo lineups.
After the attempted kidnapping, Leyva went to Mexico, where he lived under the assumed name of Rogelio Pacheco Ibarra. DNA testing later identified him as the source of DNA on Pina’s body, and a warrant was issued for his arrest in 2007. Leyva was arrested in Mexico in 2014 but fought the extradition to the United States until May 2018.
As part of his plea, Leyva said he killed Pina during a rape and that her murder was willful, deliberate and premeditated. Her clothing and the murder weapon were never found.