A SUSPECT has been arrested in the brutal murder of a high school student who was raped and stabbed 59 times on her way home.
Karen Stitt, 15, was waiting for a bus in Sunnyvale. California when she disappeared in the early hours of September 3, 1982.
Police have now arrested Gary Ramirez, 75, in Maui, Hawaii, after they said his DNA matched blood from the teen’s leather jacket.
Karen had been playing 7-Eleven video games with her boyfriend in the hours before she disappeared on her way home.
Her naked body was found bound and beaten by a van driver in some bushes 100 meters from the bus stop.
The truck driver told local reporters the killing was “very violent.”
Investigators from investigators in the Santa Clara County cold case said they used DNA technology linked to pedigree genealogy to make their arrest.
Ramirez, a retired bug 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 capable of such a horrific crime.
“I’ve never seen him violent or angry,” Ramirez’s brother told the newspaper. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Sunnyvale Police Detective Matt Hutchison said he arrested Ramirez, a man with a bad hip who appeared so shocked he could hardly say more than, “Oh my God.”
Three years ago, Hutchison teamed up with a genealogist who narrowed the DNA down to four brothers.
Hutchison then went to one of Gary Ramirez’s children and collected a DNA sample that showed a high probability that the suspect was their father, he said.
Authorities then used a search warrant to swab Gary Ramirez’s mouth for a DNA sample that a crime lab confirmed matched DNA found at the crime scene.
He opened his laptop and clicked on the photo of Karen.
When he opened the email with the DNA match, “I wanted to scream but I can’t because I didn’t want to wake the hotel up,” Hutchinson said.
“So I just took a moment to think.”
“I took a quick look at her photo,” he said, “and I just said, ‘We did it.'”
Ramirez is now facing charges of rape, murder and kidnapping. He will next appear in court on October 28, where he is expected to file a plea.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6301677/murder-karen-stitt-raped-arrest-suspect/ Important update on the brutal murder of a high school student who was raped and stabbed 59 times at a bus stop on her way home