Suspects Identified in Cold Case: 1984 Killing of Claire Hough

Claire Hough, 14, was the victim of a brutal murder on Friday, Aug. 24, 1984

Thirty years after a teenager’s body was found on the sand at Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego homicide investigators say they have identified two suspects in her killing, one of whom was a San Diego Police criminalist.

Claire Hough, 14, was the victim of a brutal murder on Friday, Aug. 24, 1984.

The teenager had been staying with her grandparents who lived near the beach.

When she was found by police officers, she had been beaten, strangled and stabbed, and one of her breasts had been severed.

Claire Hough's grandparents lived near the beach where her body was found.

Using DNA evidence collected at the scene, homicide investigators were able to identity two potential suspects in her murder in November 2012.

Detectives say they spent the following two years putting together a case for prosecution. They were preparing to make an arrest when on Tuesday, Oct. 21, Kevin Charles Brown was found dead at Cuyamaca State Park on Highway 79.

Brown, 62, worked as a criminalist for the San Diego Police Laboratory from 1982 to April 2002.

[[280213072, C]]

Homicide investigators say they do not believe Brown had any association with the murder investigation or the process of evidence.

His death has initially been ruled a suicide.

The second suspect, Ronald Clyde Tatro, died in a boating accident in 2011. Tatro was 40 years old at the time of the killing.

According to homicide investigators the two men were identified as suspects in the case through DNA analysis.

San Diego Police Department
Tatro was identified as a suspect in the killing in August 2014.

Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to call the San Diego Police Department’s Homicide Unit or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

[G] San Diego's Unsolved Cold Cases

Contact Us