- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole has denied a parole request for a man serving time for lewd conduct.

The Idaho Statesman (http://bit.ly/1fWofKj ) reports last week’s denial means Ramiro Granado will no longer have the right to an automatic appeal for parole every two years. Instead, he will have to petition to come before the parole commission.

Granado was sentenced in 2003 to up to 20 years in prison for lewd conduct with a minor. Prosecutors said he had sex with 14-year-old Cheyenne Vasquez in 2002, and that he was the last known person to see the teen alive.

The girl’s body was found partially submerged in a Boise drainage pond on April 8, 2002. She had been reported missing on Jan. 16 of that year. An autopsy was unable to determine the casue of death, and though police called the death suspicious no one was ever charged.

Granado was a friend of the Vasquez family, and the teen had baby-sat for him several times. Police said Granado told them he dropped the girl off at a convenience store about 9 the night she disappeared. He said she began to walk home from there.

Detectives found DNA evidence in his pickup that they said indicated Granado had sex with the teen in the vehicle. They also found a sweatshirt belonging to Granado near the pond.

Granado denied killing the girl but admitted to the lewd conduct.

At his sentencing, the judge decreed that Granado would have to serve at least eight years before he would be eligible for parole. The decision by the parole board means that he will have to serve the full 20-year term unless he petitions the board for a new hearing and the board agrees to consider the case.

Cheyenne would have turned 26 on Jan. 10. Her family gathered at the spot where her body was found and released balloons on her birthday.

“We miss her every day,” her aunt Rachel Vasquez wrote in a letter to the Statesman. “Although it’s been 12 years, we have never stopped fighting for her.”

The teen’s mother and father have both passed away, and other relatives and friends have worked to keep the girl’s memory alive.

Nineteen relatives and friends sent letters to the parole board, opposing Granado’s release. Nine attended the hearing.

“We will be forever grateful for the board’s decision,” Rachel Vasquez said. “We are thankful we will not have to relive this over and over again at parole hearings. It’s the closest to justice we have been.”

The family, Vasquez said, holds out hope that someone will come forward and provide information that could bring a murder charge in her niece’s death.

“We still have so many questions, yet so little answers,” she said.

___

Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

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