Two California cold case homicides from 1980s solved with advances in DNA technology

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A partnership of legislation enforcement agencies in Orange County, California, introduced that a pair of chilly circumstance homicides from 1987 and 1989 have been solved because of to advances in DNA know-how. 

Shannon Rose Lloyd, 23, was observed dead in her bed room in Garden Grove, California, in May well 1987. A coroner determined at the time that she had been sexually assaulted and strangled to loss of life, but the investigation went chilly for many years. 

Two years afterwards, in February 1989, 27-year-old Renee Cuevas was uncovered useless alongside a highway close to the El Toro Maritime base. 

Investigators were being also to begin with stumped in Cuevas’ murder, but the Orange County Criminal offense Lab identified that the two situations have been similar in 2003. 

Shannon Rose Lloyd, 23, was found murdered in her bedroom in 1987. 

Shannon Rose Lloyd, 23, was found murdered in her bedroom in 1987. 
(Backyard Grove Law enforcement Department)

Past yr, applying innovations in genetic genealogy and DNA technologies, authorities joined 39-yr-outdated Reuben Smith to each crimes. 


Smith lived in Orange County in the 1980s but experienced moved to Las Vegas, where by he was arrested for sexual assault and attempted murder of yet another girl in July 1998. 

He committed suicide in 1999, but DNA from his arrest was a match for proof that was discovered at the scenes of Llyod’s and Cuevas’ murders. 

Renee Cuevas' death was linked to Lloyds's murder using DNA evidence, but investigators were unable to identify a suspect for years. 

Renee Cuevas’ loss of life was joined to Lloyds’s murder making use of DNA evidence, but investigators were not able to identify a suspect for many years. 
(Garden Grove Law enforcement Division)

“The liked types of Renee Cuevas and Shannon Lloyd have the responses to the issue they have been inquiring for extra than three a long time,” Orange County District Lawyer Todd Spitzer mentioned in a assertion. 

“The justice that every single sufferer deserves was concealed away in DNA, but with innovations in [investigative genetic genealogy] know-how merged with the relentless dedication of generations of detectives and the proficient prosecutors and forensic researchers at the District Attorney’s Place of work, we now know who killed Renee and Shannon.” 

Spitzer mentioned that four cold case homicides have been solved in Orange County making use of investigative genetic genealogy, when about 200 have been solved nationally. 

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The investigative engineering was famously employed in 2018 to crack the scenario of the Golden Condition Killer, who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s with up to a dozen murders, 45 rapes, and 120 household burglaries. 

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested for the crime spree in 2018 just after investigators made use of DNA evidence from a criminal offense scene and as opposed it to DNA samples of spouse and children historical past sites.