DNA leads to arrest of Hawaii man in 1982 California killing

Aug 9, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: 3:13 pm

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — A Hawaii man has been arrested after DNA technology helped investigators identify him as a suspect in the 1992 slaying of a 15-year-old girl who was abducted in Northern California from a bus stop, raped and killed, authorities said.

Karen Stitt was waiting for a bus in Sunnyvale when she disappeared in the early morning hours of Sept. 3, 1982. A delivery truck driver discovered her naked body among some bushes 100 yards (91 meters) away from the bus stop, the Mercury News reported Tuesday.

Last week, Sunnyvale police arrested Gary Ramirez, 75, in Maui after they say his DNA matched the blood from Karen’s leather jacket and the 4-foot (1.2-meter) cinder block wall where the killer left her after stabbing her 59 times, the newspaper reported.

Ramirez remains incarcerated in a Maui jail awaiting an extradition hearing Wednesday to bring him to California. It was not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

Santa Clara County cold case investigators say they used DNA technology linked to family tree genealogy, the same investigative process that led to the arrest and guilty plea of the Golden State Killer in 2018.

Sunnyvale police Detective Matt Hutchison said he arrested Ramirez, a man with a bad hip who appeared so shocked he could say little more than, “Oh my gosh.”

Ramirez, a retired bug exterminator, had no criminal record, police say. His older brother, Rudy Ramirez, who also lives in Maui, said he can’t imagine that his younger brother would be capable of such a horrific crime.

“I’ve never seen him violent or get angry ever,” Ramirez’s brother told the newspaper. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Three years ago, Hutchison teamed up with a genealogist who narrowed the DNA down to four brothers. Hutchison then sought out one of Gary Ramirez’s children and collected a DNA sample, which showed a high probability that the suspect was their father, he said. After that, authorities used a search warrant to swab Gary Ramirez’s mouth for a DNA sample, which a crime lab confirmed matched the DNA found at the crime scene.

When he opened the email with the DNA match, “I wanted to scream, but I can’t because I didn’t want to wake up the hotel,” Hutchinson said. “So I just took a moment to reflect.”

He opened up his laptop and clicked on the photo of Karen.

“I took a quick glance at her photo,” he said, “and I just told her, ‘We did it.'”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A boy diagnosed with cholera receives treatment at a cholera center in Anse D'Hainault, Hait...
Associated Press

Haiti reports cholera deaths for first time in 3 years

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s government on Sunday announced that at least eight people have died from cholera, raising concerns about a potentially fast-spreading scenario and reviving memories of an epidemic that killed nearly 10,000 people a decade ago. The cases – the first cholera deaths reported in three years – came in a community […]
18 hours ago
FILE - A boy diagnosed with cholera receives treatment at a cholera center in Anse D'Hainault, Hait...
Associated Press

Haiti reports cholera deaths for first time in 3 years

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s government on Sunday announced that at least eight people have died from cholera, raising concerns about a potentially fast-spreading scenario and reviving memories of an epidemic that killed nearly 10,000 people a decade ago. The cases – the first cholera deaths reported in three years – came in a community […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Fox commentator Terry Bradshaw is sen before the NFC Championship NFL football game between ...
Associated Press

Terry Bradshaw says he’s been treated for 2 kinds of cancer

Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw said Sunday he has been treated for two forms of cancer in the past year. Bradshaw said on “Fox NFL Sunday” that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer late last year and was treated at Yale University Medical Center, including surgery. “As of today, I am bladder cancer free,” […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Madame Wu, restaurateur to Hollywood’s elite, dies at 106

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sylvia Wu, whose famed Southern California restaurant drew Hollywood’s biggest stars for four decades, has died at age 106, according to a news report. Madame Wu’s Garden on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica became a dining destination shortly after it opened in 1959, popular for its cuisine and pagoda-style decor featuring […]
18 hours ago
CORRECTS SPELLING OF LAST NAME TO MADLANG INSTEAD OF MADLING - Gabriel Madlang loads sandbags onto ...
Associated Press

Ian is long gone but water keeps rising in central Florida

GENEVA, Fla. (AP) — Residents in central Florida donned fishing waders, boots and bug spray and canoed or kayaked to their homes on streets where floodwaters continued rising Sunday despite it being four days since Hurricane Ian tore through the state. The waters flooded homes and streets that had been passable just a day or […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

3 die when plane hits Minnesota home, but 2 in house unhurt

HERMANTOWN, Minn. (AP) — Three people aboard a small airplane died when it crashed into a house near a northern Minnesota airport, but the two people sleeping inside the home — and their cat — were unhurt. Hermantown Police said the Cessna 172 plane crashed into the second floor of the home just south of […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
DNA leads to arrest of Hawaii man in 1982 California killing