The San José Police Department’s Covert Response Unit Three last week arrested three suspects in connection with a cold case homicide in San Jose in October 2001
Police identified the suspects in the stabbing death of Nhin Phi Ha, 22, on Oct. 31, 2001, as 45-year-old Francis Dagayray, 47-year-old Eutropio Dagayay and 45-year-old Gilbert Meriales, all residents of San Jose. The three men were arrested on suspicion of crimes that include homicide and assault with a deadly weapon, and were booked into the Santa Clara County Jail.
Police said Ha died in a stabbing by two suspects in front of his apartment complex on Avalani Avenue. A friend of Ha's was also stabbed multiple times, but survived his injuries, police said.
On Halloween night 20 years ago at approximately 7:50pm was stabbed by the three men and died from his injuries at the scene. The two suspects fled in an SUV being driven by a third suspect.
Over the course of the past 20 years the case had been worked by several detectives, and leads were developed, but they did not lead to any arrests.
In August 2021, the case was assigned to a San José Police Department and District Attorney's Office Cold Case team which brought new life to the investigation. "The team connected the dots, re-interviewed several witnesses, and were able to solve the case," police said in a press release.