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These investigators get results on very cold cases, deliver long-delayed justice

These investigators get results on very cold cases, deliver long-delayed justice July 13, 2016 Fullerton Police detectives, Ed Contreras, at left, and Lt. Tom Basham work part-time on cold cases. They are pictured in the homicide storage room where files from old cases are kept. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: – MINDY SCHAUER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER –   A beer can. A dog bite. A shoelace. Each sliver of evidence recently helped detectives…

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An Ingenious New Way of Solving Cold Cases

By the time the tip came in, five long years had passed since the night Derrick Comrie was killed. The 20-year-old from Hartford County, Connecticut, had been at a high school basketball game in January 2006, passing out flyers for a party he was throwing a few days later. After the game, Comrie was sitting in the passenger seat of a friend’s car when a man walked up to him…

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Arrests Made in Two Cold-Case Homicides in Santa Ana, Anaheim

Arrests have been made arrests in two cold-case killings, authorities said Thursday. In the older case, John Augustin, a 52-year-old transient, was arrested in connection with the 1998 slaying of an Anaheim woman, said Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt. He was taken into custody Tuesday in Fullerton for the slaying of Irene Ruelaz, said Wyatt. Augustin is being held in the Orange County Jail on $1 million bail and was…

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2007 Homicide Investigation

On October 20, 2007, 25-year-old Yacshicka Watts was murdered and her body was left outside in a Santa Ana business center parking area. The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) began investigating this case after receiving a 911 call that her body had been found. Orange County Crime Lab investigators collected DNA evidence from the victim’s body and stored it in the state database.   In 2013, a DNA hit matched…

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1998 Homicide Investigation

On April 24, 1998, family members reported 41 year old Irene Ruelaz missing. On May 3, 1998, Anaheim police officers located her decomposing body inside her apartment.  At the time of the crime, John Augustin was her ex-boyfriend.  No criminal case was filed at the time of the incident. OCHTF Investigators reopened the investigation and connected John Augustin to this murder through additional follow-up investigation.   On December 10, 2015,…

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Florida man charged with murder in 1986 case of a Santa Ana dentist whose body was never found

A Florida inmate long-suspected of being involved in the killing of a missing Santa Ana dentist was charged Wednesday morning in connection to the cold-case slaying. Nearly three decades after Dr. Cedric Horn, 79, was reported missing, Steven White was charged with the special circumstances murder in connection with his death. Prosecutors allege that White befriended Horn and talked him into a business deal before stealing his money. White, 65,…

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Three days before starting a new job, a La Palma woman was killed 41 years ago; arrest could finally solve her case

A young divorcee from Tucson, Arizona, Patricia “Annie” Ross moved to Orange County in the 1970s with plans for a fresh start.  The 30-year-old quickly became friends with neighbors at the Brookside Apartments in La Palma and opened a plant shop down the street called Anne Green Things, where she sold potted plants in macrame hangers. But the little shop struggled and Ross eventually sold the store taking a job…

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La Palma’s Oldest Unsolved Murder Solved after DNA Match

A 65-year-old Northern California man who submitted DNA after a recent domestic violence arrest has been linked to La Palma’s oldest unsolved homicide, authorities said. Larry Stephens of Santa Rosa was charged Tuesday with the killing of 30-year-old Patricia “Annie” Ross, who was strangled in her La Palma apartment on the night of Dec. 11, 1974. Authorities said Ross had plans to meet friends for a double date in Huntington…

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“Cold-Case” Experts Solve the Unsolvable by Never Giving Up

 SANTA ANA – The woman’s body was headless. That’s what a man saw when he walked his dog down a dry creek bed in Santiago Park  on March 31, 1988. For police, the horrific scene offered few clues. The woman was unidentified. And though her head was found four days later, near where her body was found, she remained unknown. Police could only speculate that she was in her 20s,…

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Arrest Warrants Issued for Driver in Deadly 1992 Crash in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) — Orange County investigators are seeking the public’s help locating the driver from a deadly crash in 1992 that left seven people dead. Arrest warrants have been issued. One of the first responders described the scene as a morgue. It was one of the deadliest car crashes in Orange County history. On Sept. 20, 1992, officers say a Chevy truck ran a red light in Santa…

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