How a Sacramento County investigator solved a 40-year-old cold case

Keep the faith that we are trying and we hope for the families, we can help them." April 25, 2020 SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Sacramento County Sheriff's investigator Micki Links had been waiting to hear this news for years. "The lab criminalist from the DA's lab sent me a text. He sent me an email, he called my office line," Links said. Advertisem...

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DNA Evidence Leads to Arrest in 32-Year-Old Cold Case Homicide of San Francisco John Doe Baby

The infant's death remained a mystery until it was reopened last year and authorities used cutting edge DNA evidence to reach an arrest. August 4, 2020 A three-decade old California cold case, which involved the death of a John Doe baby, finally has an arrest thanks to DNA evidence. Lesa Lopez, 52, has been charged with killing her newborn baby boy...

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15 more OC sheriff’s deputies considered for criminal charges in evidence scandal

Two deputies were convicted earlier of misdemeanor charges of falsifying reports, saying they had booked the evidence when they had not. AUGUST 8, 2020 An expanded internal audit has identified another 15 Orange County sheriff's deputies who mishandled evidence to the point of potentially warranting criminal charges, Sheriff Don Barnes announced Fr...

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DNA evidence leads to arrest in 1996 rape, killing of woman in Covina assisted-living home

Detectives were able to match his DNA with a specimen collected from the body of victim Mary Lindgren August 6, 2020 The state's DNA database helped investigators arrest a suspect Thursday accused of raping and killing a 67-year-old woman in her Covina assisted-living home more than two decades ago, officials said. After 46-year-old David Adolph Be...

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Former deputies plead no contest to stealing seized drugs and selling them

In March of 2015, Logan August entered the property room under the false premise of removing that marijuana for burial and destruction and took 351 pounds of marijuana. August 6, 2020 BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer announced a resolution in a significant plea in a case involving the two former Kern County Sheriff...

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Ex-O.C. sheriff’s deputies plead guilty in evidence booking scandal

The charges stem from a broader scandal after an internal Sheriff's Department audit found that one-third of all evidence taken in by the agency over a two-year span, June 11, 2020 Two former Orange County sheriff's deputies have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in an evidence booking scandal that could imperil thousands of criminal cases, prosec...

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Vallejo police union president placed on leave, under investigation for destroying evidence from controversial police shooting

His exact role in discarding the bullet-ridden windshield is not known Enter Article DATE HERE VALLEJO — The president of the Vallejo police union is one of two employees on suspension and under investigation for destruction of evidence in the police killing of Sean Monterrosa, multiple sources told this news organization. Lt. Michael Nichelin...

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California county’s oldest Jane Doe cold case murder solved after 52-year mystery

"After more than five decades, advances in investigative genetic genealogy did what old-fashioned police work could not: Give Jane Doe a name and identify her killer," he said. July 25, 2020 A California county's oldest Jane Doe murder has been solved through DNA and genetic genealogy. The crime-fighting technique helped identify the victim and fin...

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Evidence destroyed in fatal police shooting of man who was half-kneeling

The evidence was of the bullet-riddled windshield from the unmarked police truck from which the officer fired the fatal shots. July 17, 2020 Evidence was destroyed relating to a fatal officer-involved shooting in June that sparked protests for increased police accountability in Vallejo, California, the city confirmed Wednesday. The evidence was of ...

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28 Tons Of Illegal Fireworks Seized By San Bernardino Police, County Fire

The task force also issued 245 citations resulting in $306,250 in fines Enter Article DATE HERE SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — More than 28 tons of illegal fireworks were seized by San Bernardino police and county fire officials in the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July. San Bernardino County Fire was also on high alert for illegal fireworks dur...

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‘Day of reckoning’ — Joseph DeAngelo admits guilt in Golden State Killer murders, rapes

DeAngelo, 74, admitted to a 12-year binge of murder, rapes, burglaries and other crimes from the Sacramento area to Orange County Enter Article DATE HERE Forty-five years after murdering his first victim, Joseph James DeAngelo admitted Monday he was the Golden State Killer: serial killer, serial rapist and author of one of the worst crime spre...

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OC sheriff’s investigators smuggled boxes of evidence in Golden State Killer case to book author, attorney says

The incident is described in Michelle McNamara's book and depicted in an HBO July 1, 2020 Orange County sheriff's investigators smuggled boxes of statewide evidence on the Golden State Killer to a true-crime author in 2016, foreshadowing an internal audit that showed the agency had systemic problems mishandling such evidence, court papers show. Det...

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OC deputies fired in evidence scandal get leniency while their victims go to jail, public defender claims

Attorney says there are 'two sets of laws in this county — one for those who wear a sheriff's uniform and one for those who don't. June 18, 2020 Orange County prosecutors coddled two ex-sheriff's deputies who pleaded guilty to mishandling evidence but failed to consult the victims of their misdeeds before agreeing to the deputies' no-jail plea deal...

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‘A Bit Scary’: DEA Worried That Drugs Stolen From Pharmacies By Looters Could End Up On Streets

77 pharmacies in Los Angeles and Riverside counties the DEA said looters targeted June 17, 2020 LONG BEACH (CBSLA) ⁠— Area drug enforcement agents said they're worried that the streets are about to be flooded with a wave of stolen prescription drugs taken by looters during recent protests against police brutality. And on Tuesday, the Drug Enforceme...

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LAFD to inspect vape and smoke shops following downtown explosion that seriously injured several firefighters

The Los Angeles Fire Department will launch a citywide review of the way certain businesses store volatile materials after an explosion seriously injured several firefighters May 20, 2020 The Los Angeles Fire Department will launch a citywide review of the way certain businesses store volatile materials after an explosion seriously injured several ...

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SDPD Has the Most Untested Rape Kits in the State – by Far

A state audit published this week illuminates the extent to which SDPD has treated rape kits differently than its fellow law enforcement agencies across the state. May 20, 2020 he San Diego Police Department has more untested rape kits than any other law enforcement agency in the state. And unlike virtually every other agency in California, SDPD al...

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Dozens of Orange County sheriff’s deputies lied about booking evidence, second audit finds

DA concerned about possible unfair convictions in 57 cases where evidence was found to be missing November 29, 2019 More than 50 Orange County sheriff's deputies lied by reporting they had booked evidence in criminal cases when they had not, a second internal audit has found, creating fears that some defendants may have been convicted unfairly. Evi...

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Sacramento County officials announce arrest 40 years after Rosemont woman found killed in her home

They say DNA evidence led them to her alleged killer. April 25, 2020 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A picture of Robin Brooks sits in the living room of retired Sacramento County Sheriff's Homicide Sgt. Micki Links. "That's one of the reasons I came back after retirement. I just had a passion to help the families," Sgt. Links told FOX40. Links was a s...

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Cold case: Nevada convict charged in 1981 rape, murder of 16-year-old Oakland girl

After the DNA match last year and more investigation, including the jail house interview, April 24, 2020 OAKLAND — A 57-year-old man serving a prison term in Nevada for sexual assault has been charged in the Dec. 23, 1981 fatal stabbing and rape of a 16-year-old high school honor student whose body was found in a West Oakland parking lot, according...

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DNA Breakthrough Identifies Suspect in Cold Case Murder of California Teen Unsolved for Nearly 40 Years

"Genetic genealogy has revolutionized law enforcement's ability to solve violent crime" April 24, 202 DNA technology has been used by cold case investigators in California to identify the sole suspect in the 1981 murder of a "developmentally disabled" teenager, police say. The process of "investigative genetic genealogy" recently flagged new leads ...

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Ventura County sheriff's deputy arrested for destroying evidence, filing false report

Officials took Barrios into custody on April 10 for destroying evidence April 13, 2020 THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KABC) -- A Ventura County sheriff's deputy has been arrested for allegedly destroying evidence and filing a false report in connection to a drug arrest he made last year. Deputy Richard Barrios, 28, of Camarillo, was arrested in connection ...

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Editorial: Orange County Sheriff’s Department can’t be trusted to police itself

70% of Orange County's deputies hadn't booked evidence on time March 15, 2020 Once a law enforcement officer collects evidence of a crime, he or she faces a deadline to get the material back to the station to have it recorded, or "booked," and secured. The reason is simple: The longer a weapon, drugs, video or other evidence sits in a patrol car or...

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Mystery Photos Found at Accused Serial Killer’s Home

Detectives would like to identify women in pictures discovered after DNA led to charges in a pair of murders. March 5,2019 Police in Burbank said the women seen in a cache of photographs discovered during a search of an accused serial killer's home could be important clues in the man's upcoming murder trial."I don't know who they are," said Burbank...

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Sheriff Barnes: 3 more deputies under investigation amid audit of cases after evidence mishandling

After that review we have identified a few additional deputies who were not in compliance with our policy, Enter Article DATE HERE During a Friday briefing of various department topics such as jail reorganization and coronavirus monitoring, Sheriff Don Barnes updated reporters, saying the department was almost half way through reviewing more t...

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Deputies were ordered to delete Kobe Bryant crash photos to avoid discipline, sources say

a citizen complained that a deputy was showing the gruesome images at a Norwalk bar, February 28, 2020 In an attempt to keep the matter under wraps, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department quietly ordered deputies to delete any photos of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash scene after a citizen complained that a deputy was showing the gruesome ima...

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Raped 45 years ago, woman returns to bring attacker to justice — for other woman's murder

Now 75, wheelchair-bound and in shackles, even after 45 years she recognized him, she told the court. February 7, 2020 Editor's note: This article contains graphic descriptions of crime that some readers may find disturbing. For more than four decades, "Diane Doe" has tried to bury memories of the rape she survived as a teenager in her parents' Pal...

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Secrecy Around Sheriff Evidence Misconduct Records Heads to Court Thursday

prosecutors have found 91 affected cases so far in their ongoing review of 22,000 cases Enter Article DATE HERE An ongoing crisis over widespread evidence problems at the Orange County Sheriff's Department is heading into court Thursday, as a judge decides whether to unseal records about a deputy who was found to have falsely stated in 74 diff...

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22,000 Cases to be Reviewed in Evidence Scandal, OC Sheriff Announces

​Sheriff's investigators referred 15 deputies to prosecutors to consider for criminal prosecution February 4, 2020 he Orange County Sheriff's Department will review about 22,000 cases associated with an evidence booking scandal involving missing items or evidence improperly booked, Sheriff Don Barnes announced Tuesday. Sheriff's deputies and invest...

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Murder charge in cold case murder of California student

Enter Headline here January 29, 2020 FRESNO — Authorities in Fresno announced Wednesday that have filed a murder charge in the rape and killing of a college student 24 years ago. Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp announced the charges against Nickey Duane Stane, 52, in the 1996 slaying of 22-year-old Debbie Dorian. Authorities said the...

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LAPD officer arrested on suspicion of stealing money from woman’s backpack

Officer was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing money from a woman's backpack while officers were conducting enforcement of an illegal cannabis grow facility​ Enter Article DATE HERE LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Police Department officer was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing money from a woman's backpack while officers were conducting e...

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At Least 91 Convictions Involved Missing Evidence, DA Says, Casting Doubt on Sheriff’s Statements

Internal Sheriff's Department audits – kept secret for two years by the former and current sheriff – had found hundreds of instances of late or missing evidence. January 29, 2020 An ongoing review of Sheriff's Department evidence problems has found 91 cases so far where someone was convicted of a crime but "evidence was either never booked or booke...

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UPDATED: Cold-case arrest made in baby’s 2007 death, four other infant homicides

"In my 40 years in law enforcement, I cannot think of a case more disturbing than this one January 26, 2020 WOODLAND — In a case they described as "chilling," "heartbreaking" and "senseless," authorities announced Monday the arrest of a man suspected of murdering his own five infant children, including a baby boy discovered in rural Yolo County slo...

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Emerging field of ‘forensic genealogy’ links DNA testing and family histories to solve cold cases

Packed with DNA, hair is quickly becoming a powerful source to help catch lawbreakers. January 18, 2020 SANTA CRUZ — When they're planning to rob a liquor store, most criminals think to wear gloves and cover their faces. But few of them commit to shaving their heads to avoid leaving behind even a single strand of hair. In the future, however, they ...

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SDPD Crime Lab Manager Is Officially Out Following Rape Kit Testing Scandal

After arguing for years that there was no value in testing the roughly 2,000 untested rape kits in its possession, SDPD eventually began testing certain kits due to pressure from elected decision-makers. January 7, 2020 The longtime manager of the San Diego Police Department's crime lab no longer works for the department. Her departure is the lates...

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New DNA Evidence Solved 36-Year-Old La Mesa Cold-Case Murder

Police closed the case in 1984 and it went unsolved until 2017, when the department reopened the case and conducted a full review of the evidence, December 16, 2019 New DNA evidence helped La Mesa police solved a nearly 36-year-old cold-case murder, officials announced Monday. La Mesa police said William Mambro was stabbed to death during a residen...

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Did OC Sheriff Don Barnes sit on evidence audit to further his 2018 election campaign?

He calls the charge by an assistant public defender 'scandalous conjecture,' insisting he did not hide findings from the damaging audit December 30, 2019 An internal audit showing Orange County sheriff's deputies systemically mishandled evidence arrived in March 2018 while then Undersheriff Don Barnes was campaigning for the sheriff's job. As Barne...

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NJ-Based Aunt, Cops Help ID Remains of Child in Decades-Old Cold Case

The young girl's death was ruled a homicide. December 12, 2019 After nearly half a century, New Jersey State Police used newly gathered DNA evidence from a hopeful aunt to help investigators in San Francisco identify the remains of a murdered 14-year-old girl. It was Oct. 1, 1976, when a man walking his dog "discovered a hand protruding from the sa...

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Genealogical databases are a goldmine for police | Critics cite few rules, little transparency

Enter Headline here November 25, 2019 Orlando police detective Michael Fields was sure he had the break he needed right in front of him to close in on a serial rapist: a list of people whose DNA partially matched the man he hunted. Then the list disappeared. After a year of criticism from privacy advocates and genealogy experts, the owner of a popu...

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CA Defender Cites ‘Disastrous’ Mishandling of Cases

The first audit looked at almost 99,000 police reports over two years November 29, 2019 A rapidly growing evidence scandal has swept the Orange County Sheriff's Department and threatens to alter the criminal justice landscape in one of California's largest counties, reports the Sacramento Bee. Guilty people could go free, and innocent suspects have...

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4 OC Deputies Fired After Allegations of Systemic Problems With Booking Evidence

"The audits determined there were systemic problems with evidence being booked outside policy," November 18, 2019 A defense attorney behind allegations of abuses of a confidential informant program with Orange County's jails is now alleging systemic problems with the booking of evidence in cases, prompting a sheriff's spokeswoman to announce Monday...

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Dozens of Rape Kits From SDPD's Backlog Have Yielded DNA Database Hits

Between late 2017 and November 2018, the department screened 313 backlogged kits,... November 4, 2019 As San Diego Police Department crime lab analysts worked their way through backlogged sexual assault kits, dozens of the DNA profiles they entered into a federal database returned matches, giving investigators a potential lead. Those results appear...

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Arrest Made In Anaheim Cold Case Murder

Rapid DNA led to finding a Houston man, suspected of killing a coworker in 2000. October 11, 2019 ANAHEIM, CA - A 47-year-old Houston man was behind bars Friday in Anaheim on a murder charge dating back 19 years. Leopoldo Vargas Serrano, who was taken into custody in Texas last month by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, is charged with gu...

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New California Law Says Rape Kits Have to Be Tested Within 120 Days

"There is absolutely no reason why a rape kit should ever sit untested for months or years when statistics tell us that testing rape kits helps to ensure justice by identifying perpetrators" October 9, 2019 Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law requiring law enforcement to test newly collected rape kits promptly in California. Bill SB 22, author...

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DNA ties California man to decades-old cold case murder, sexual assaults: police

California police say DNA has helped link a 52-year-old man to eight cold cases -- the rape and murder of a Fresno woman 23 years ago and the sexual assaults of seven Enter Article DATE HERE California police say DNA has helped link a 52-year-old man to eight cold cases -- the rape and murder of a Fresno woman 23 years ago and the sexual assau...

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Open Forum: California can end its rape kit backlog

One of the many bills Gov. Gavin Newsom must soon decide to either pass or veto is SB22, which requires counties to submit rape kits to laboratories within 20 days and test them no later than 120 days after collection Octobert 5, 2019 It takes great courage to undergo a forensic rape examination. When a sexual assault survivor is escorted into that...

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California must finally end the backlog of unprocessed rape kits. Here’s how

We have been fighting for statewide regulations to ensure that all kits are tested in a timely manner. September 5, 2019 After a sexual assault, survivors undergo an incredibly invasive procedure, typically involving being examined, swabbed and photographed for several hours. The specific purpose is to collect DNA and other evidence used to identif...

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County firefighters respond to first recorded fentanyl exposure at Los Altos police station

Los Altos police issued a news alert confirming that three officers were exposed to fentanyl while processing evidence. August 12, 2019 A Los Altos police officer was in stable condition Monday (Aug. 12) at a local hospital after being exposed to the narcotic fentanyl earlier in the day, according to press releases from the Santa Clara County Fire ...

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Supreme Court Asked to Revive Lawsuit Over Rape-Kit Backlog

A woman is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to revive her lawsuit claiming the city of San Francisco has a pattern and practice of failing to investigate sexual assaults. July 31, 2019 SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Nine years after she was drugged and raped by a stranger attending a city-sponsored event, a woman is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to revive her l...

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"A little over a year ago came this concept of investigative genetic genealogy -- the latest and perhaps the greatest advancement to help law enforcement find the truth and solve violent crime July 7, 2019 SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For more than two decades, all California authorities knew about the man behind three violent sex crimes was his DNA profil...

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Judge orders release of property seized by Ventura County Sheriff in Ojai pot raids

Shangri La operated as a medical marijuana cooperative at the time of the raids and was closed after Kroll's 2016 arrest June 26, 2019 Three years and nine months after Ventura County Sheriff's detectives raided the marijuana dispensary he leads and his Ojai home, Jeffrey Kroll was told Wednesday the computers, member records and virtually everythi...

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