Suspect in La Mesa Sword Killing From 2006 Sentenced
Zachary Bunney, 39, was sentenced Dec. 18 for fatally stabbing La Mesa resident Scott Martinez, 47, with a sword on June 17, 2006. The La Mesa Police Department announced Bunney's arrest in January, crediting cutting-edge DNA matching technology that linked him to the killing.
Police say Martinez was repeatedly stabbed by a suspect wielding a sword as he entered his home.
By the time police arrived, the suspect was gone. Two blood stains had been left behind belonging to a man who was not Martinez. Investigators believed the blood stains were from the suspect who likely cut himself while committing the killing.
DNA Tech Helps SDPD Solve 40-Year-Old Case
On March 21, 1979, Barbara Becker’s two young sons came home from school to find her dead of apparent stab wounds in their living room. Becker “put up a tremendous fight for her life,” SDPD said, and her attacker left a trail of his own blood at the scene.
On March 21, 40 years to the day after her death, SDPD said advancements in DNA technology led them to a man named Paul Jean Chartrand.
Working together, agencies identified a potential suspect using a public access genealogy database that also identified family members of the potential suspect.
Investigators contacted those family members, and some offered voluntary DNA samples which were then compared to the DNA profile from the scene.
All signs pointed toward Chartrand, and his family members confirmed that he lived in the San Diego area in March of 1979. However, investigators learned that Chartrand died in Arizona in 1995.
Texas Man Arrested 35 Years After La Mesa Slaying
Officers were responding to a possible residential burglary at a home on Loren Drive on December 28, 1983 when they found 43-year-old William Mambro dead in a bedroom.
LMPD’s investigation ended in 1984 with no suspects in custody. Several detectives reviewed Mambro’s case over the decades that followed but no substantial leads ever materialized.
Then in December of 2019, nearly 36 years after Mambro's killing, LMPD announced new DNA evidence led investigators to 64-year-old James Boget of San Antonio.
Boget was taken into custody in Texas on Nov. 17, charged him with murder, and extradited to San Diego where he is being held on $2 million bail.
Genealogical Database Helps Find Suspect in Sexual Assault Cold Case
A man accused in six separate violent sex assaults, four of which date back more than 23 years, was extradited Monday from Arizona to San Diego County where the first of the alleged knife-point assaults occurred.
The break in the decades-old case came when the SDPD Sex Crimes Unit reached out to the FBI’s Forensic Genetic Genealogy Team for help identifying a nameless DNA sample.
The two agencies worked together and, with the help of public access genealogical databases, were able to identify a potential suspect.
Suspects to Stand Trial in National City Teen's Killing
Juan Carlos Munoz, Jr., was shot and killed on October 11, 2015, while he and a friend were sitting in a car on Prospect Street in National City.
The passenger in the Altima got out, walked to Munoz in the driver's seat and asked where they were from, police said. The suspect then pulled out a handgun and fired five rounds into the vehicle.
San Diego County CrimeStoppers released the following description of the shooter: A man in his 20s with a husky build and shaved head. The Altima is described as an early to late 2000's, 4-door model.
In November 2018, the National City Police Department arrested 31-year-old Roger Hernandez and 30-year-old Luis Karam in connection to Munoz' death.
The trial against Hernandez and Karam is set for March 2020, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.
Poway Teen’s Killing Still a Mystery 51 Years Later
Nikki Benedict was last seen walking home from a friend's house on May 1, 1967. Fifty-one years later, we still don't know who stabbed her and left her to die in a field
Investigators have said DNA is not what will solve this case. They're hoping to get a lead from someone in the community who may know something or may have heard something.
Despite an extensive investigation, officials said detectives were never able to determine a motive for the killing or identify any viable suspects.
Benedict, 14, was stabbed in the neck and chest when she was found on a dirt trail near Carriage Road and Poway Road -- long before the area was developed and homes were built.