More than 40 years later, man charged with California woman’s 1974 killing
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A 65-year-old man arrested in March for suspicion of domestic violence in Northern California has been charged with sexually assaulting and killing a woman in Huntington Beach, Calif., in 1974.
The Los Angeles Times reports that when Larry Stephens was arrested and submitted a DNA sample to the Santa Rosa, Calif., Police Department, it matched blood taken from the bedspread and window of a murder victim from 40 years earlier.
Patricia Ann Ross, a 31-year-old divorcee, was supposed to have a double-date on the night of Dec. 11, 1974. But when she didn’t show up, her friend’s husband went to her apartment and found her nude body on the bedroom floor.
Police had no leads and the case grew cold.
But then came Stephens arrest and DNA sample.
“Science has caught up with Larry Stephens,” prosecutor Larry Yellin told the Los Angeles Times. “He’s gotten away with a crime for a very long time.”
Stephens has been charged with a felony count of murder and is being held in the Sonoma County Jail, awaiting transfer to Orange County, prosecutors said.