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

A house burns after a Russian attack in Kherson, Ukraine, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy...
Associated Press

US intel chief thinking ‘optimistically’ for Ukraine forces

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The head of U.S. intelligence says fighting in Russia’s war in Ukraine is running at a “reduced tempo” and suggests Ukrainian forces could have brighter prospects in coming months. Avril Haines alluded to past allegations by some that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisers could be shielding him from bad news — […]
2 hours ago
Residents go about their life with some shops re-opening for business as restrictions are eased in ...
Associated Press

China reports 2 new COVID deaths as some restrictions eased

HONG KONG (AP) — China on Sunday reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 as some cities move cautiously to ease anti-pandemic restrictions following increasingly vocal public frustrations. The National Health Commission said one death was reported each in the provinces of Shandong and Sichuan. No information was given about the ages of the victims or […]
2 hours ago
Associated Press

State news: Iran executed 4 people it says spied for Israel

CAIRO (AP) — Iranian authorities executed four people Sunday accused of working for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, the state-run IRNA news agency said. Three others received lengthy prison sentences. IRNA said the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard announced the arrests of a network of people linked to the Israeli agency. It said the members had previous […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: December 4, the “Million Dollar Quartet”

Today in History Today is Sunday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2022. There are 27 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Dec. 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins gathered for the first and only time for a jam session at Sun Records in Memphis. […]
1 day ago
A Palestinian flag and a poster showing Ammar Adili, 22, who was shot and killed by an Israeli bord...
Associated Press

Palestinians say killing caught on video was unjustified

HAWARA, West Bank (AP) — A makeshift sidewalk memorial with a Palestinian flag and a mourning notice paid tribute Saturday to a 22-year-old Palestinian whose death at the hands of an Israeli border police officer — four pistol shots from close range — was captured on widely shared amateur video. A day after the shooting […]
1 day ago
FILE - A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans...
Associated Press

Flu season worsens as 44 states report high activity

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials said Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since. The annual winter flu season usually doesn’t get going until […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
DNA leads to arrest of Hawaii man in 1982 California killing