Former CHP Officer Craig Peyer Denied Parole in Cara Knott Killing

The former CHP officer who killed Cara Knott 25 years ago was denied parole

A former CHP officer who killed 20-year-old Cara Knott in 1986, was denied parole Wednesday and will stay in prison for at least another 15 years.

Friends and neighbors of the San Diego murder victim sent letters to the parole board prior to Wednesday's hearing asking that Craig Peyer stay in prison.

“It rocked our worlds to find out what Craig Peyer did. And that's almost a word we don't even say anymore,” neighbor Courtney Unger said.

Courtney Unger was 12 years old when her babysitter and friend was killed by the then-CHP officer. Twenty-five years later, Unger still misses Cara Knott.

“We were really robbed of her magnificence,” she said.

Unger is one of hundreds who wrote letters to the parole board, recommending Peyer stay in prison for his crime.

The parole board hearing was held Wednesday in San Luis Obispo.

“I don't want to see him out ever. Not ever. He took a life. That life was precious,” Unger said.

Two days after Christmas 1986 Peyer pulled Knott over, strangled her and then dumped her body near Interstate 15.

“The only way of really preventing something like that from really happening again…. from Peyer doing this…. is to keep Peyer locked up. I don't like to say that. I like to think that people can get better, but there's still so many unanswered questions,” neighbor, Sam Chammas said.

Sam Chammas was 14 when Knott was murdered.

Coincidentally, he recently moved across the street from Joyce Knott, Cara's mother, who attended the hearing Wednesday.

We spoke to Joyce Knott last month.

"I dread it. It's a dreadful thing to have to do,” Knott said. “He shouldn't ever get out."

The board considered Peyer's current behavior, live testimony and hundreds of letters they've received.

Peyer will not be eligible again for parole for 15 years.

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