Trial begins for north Iowa man charged with first-degree murder - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Trial begins for north Iowa man charged with first-degree murder

MASON CITY, Iowa (KTTC) -- The trial begins Monday for the north Iowa man charged with first-degree murder in the death of a toddler nearly 20 years ago.

For 19 years, the death of 20-month-old John Joseph Snyder Jr. of Mason City was a cold case until police arrested 38-year-old Michael Cisneros last July. After two delays in his trial, jury selection is scheduled to take place Monday morning in Cerro Gordo County District Court. A recent request by Cisneros' lawyer to move the trial because of publicity was denied.

The case goes back to July 20, 1994, when a 911 call came into Mason City police that a 20-month-old boy was missing. John Snyder was found dead in Willow Creek the next day. The death was ruled a murder after an autopsy revealed drowning and a crushed skull. DNA technology was not available at that time. But when the technology finally did become available, authorities said they matched Cisneros' DNA to a sample taken from the toddler's pajama bottoms.

Cisneros has been held on $500,000 cash bond.

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