The underpass near Emeline Avenue where 37-year-old David Hartley's body was found on January 17, 2021.
The underpass near Emeline Avenue where 37-year-old David Hartley’s body was found on January 17, 2021.
(Laurel Bushman / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Teen arrested in Texas for January murder of apparently homeless man in Santa Cruz, police say

The victim, 37-year-old Daniel Hartley, was found dead in the early hours of Jan. 17 near the 700 block of Emeline Avenue.

A 16-year-old boy arrested in Texas on Thursday has been charged in the murder of a man on Emeline Avenue in January, according to the Santa Cruz Police Department.

The victim, 37-year-old Daniel Hartley, was found dead in the early hours of Jan. 17 near the 700 block of Emeline. Hartley — believed to be an unsheltered person originally from Pennsylvania — sustained “blunt force trauma” to the head, police said.

Police say a weapon was used in Hartley’s death but they don’t know what weapon was used.

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Following a tip, police determined the Santa Cruz County teen to be a suspect in Hartley’s death and obtained a warrant for his arrest. The teen — whose identity police will not reveal because he is a minor — was in the Houston area at the time.

Thursday, deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office took him into custody on a murder charge. He will soon be extradited to Santa Cruz though a date for extradition has not yet been set, police said.

Police said the motive for the crime remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call (831) 420-5820.

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