DNA leads to arrest of Hawaiian man in 1982 California murder

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — Investigators use DNA technology to identify him as a suspect in the 1992 murder of a 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered from a bus stop in Northern California. A Hawaiian man was arrested after identifying as , officials said.

Karen Stitt was waiting for a bus in Sunnyvale early on September 3, 1982. She found her naked body in bushes 100 yards (91 meters) from the bus stop. Mercury News reported on Tuesday.

Sunnyvale police arrested 75-year-old Gary Ramirez on Maui last week. His girlfriend’s DNA matched the blood from Karen’s leather jacket and the 4-foot (1.2-meter) cinder block wall that the killer left behind after stabbing her 59 times. was. newspaper reported.

Ramirez remains incarcerated in a Maui jail, awaiting extradition hearings on Wednesday before taking him to California. It was not immediately clear whether he had hired a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

Investigators in a pending case in Santa Clara County say they used DNA techniques related to genealogy, the same investigative process that led to the arrest. Golden State Killer guilty plea in 2018.

Sunnyvale Police Detective Matt Hutchison said he arrested Ramirez with a bad hip. Ramirez was so shocked that all he could say was, “Oh no.”

Ramirez, a retired exterminator, had no criminal record, police say. His older brother, Rudy Ramirez, who also lives on Maui, said he couldn’t imagine his younger brother being able to commit such a horrific crime.

“I never saw him get violent or angry,” Ramirez’s brother told the newspaper. “He didn’t hurt the fly.”

Three years ago, Hutchison worked with a genealogist to narrow the DNA down to four siblings. Hutchison then sought out his one of Gary Ramirez’ children and collected a DNA sample. As a result, it was found that the suspect was most likely the father. Authorities then used a search warrant to take a DNA sample from Gary Ramirez’s mouth. Crime labs have confirmed a match to the DNA found at the crime scene.

When he opened the email with the DNA match, Hutchinson said, “I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t because I didn’t want to wake up the hotel.” “So I just reflected on it a little.”

He opened his laptop and clicked on Karen’s picture.

“I glanced at her picture,” he said.