A 75-year-old Hawaiian man was charged Tuesday with the brutal rape and murder of a California teenager, four decades after his body was found from a cinder block wall in Silicon Valley, officials said.
Gary Ramirez was linked to the 1982 murder of 15-year-old Karen Stitt after a Sunnyvale police detective was alerted last year to the possible identity of the killer, according to court documents filed in Santa Clara County.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release that Ramírez, who grew up in the Fresno area and served in the Air Force, was arrested in Maui on August 2 and is expected to be extradited on charges of murder, kidnapping and rape. hopefully. ,
According to a statement of facts included in court documents, a truck driver found Stitt’s body at the base of a cinder block wall on the morning of September 3, 1982.
An autopsy revealed that he was stabbed 59 times, the document says. Sunnyvale Police Detective Matt Hutchinson, who wrote the statement of facts, said the teenager was also raped.
The district attorney’s office said Stitt’s boyfriend, who was with her the night before her murder, was initially believed to be a suspect.
According to the statement of facts, they met on the night of September 2 at 7-Eleven in Sunnyvale, where the boyfriend lived, and spent a few hours together before heading to the bus stop for Stitt’s ride to Palo Alto. ,
The document states that his naked body was found 100 yards from the bus stop.
The lover was ruled out as a suspect after a DNA analysis found that the sperm collected from Stitt’s body and the male blood found at the crime scene did not match the sample provided by the lover.
The Associated Press reported that no other suspects had been identified, and the case remained cold until 2021, two years after Hutchinson worked closely with a genetic genealogist.
The researcher found that Stitt may have been killed by the son of a woman named Rose Aguilera Ramirez, the statement of facts says.
According to the document, Hutchinson found that the woman’s family lived in the Fresno area and had four sons. The document said the detectives used law enforcement and public records databases to rule out the two brothers as potential suspects.
When the details of one of the two remaining brothers could not be verified, Hutchinson found a child of Gary Ramirez and obtained DNA according to the statement of facts.
The county crime lab compared DNA samples from the crime scene and found “very strong statistical support” that they were a match, the statement said.
It was not immediately clear whether Ramirez, who was arrested at his home in Macawao, had an attorney to speak on his behalf.
One of his brothers, Rudy Ramirez, told the San Jose Mercury-News that he had never seen his brother become violent or angry.