‘Subject of Interest' Sought in 1980s Homicides

Ronald Tatro is considered a subject of interest in homicides that occurred during the early to mid-1980s

San Diego Police Department

Cold case investigators with the San Diego Police Department are looking for a man possibly linked to unsolved homicide cases that occurred three decades ago, officials said Friday.

The SDPD said homicide detectives want to track down a man by the name of Ronald Tatro. He’s believed to be a subject of interest in killings that happened during the early to mid-1980s.

Back in 1984, Tatro was known to drive a white and blue Dodge van. Officials said Tatro had an extensive criminal history.

Today, detectives are asking anyone who knew Tatro or his known associates during this time period to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293.

NBC 7 reached out to investigators for comment on which specific homicide cases Tatro may be connected to.

SDPD Acting Homicide Lt. Manuel Del Toro said the department could not elaborate "due to the investigation going on at this time."

Lt. Del Toro said detectives are still in the process of gathering information.

According to SDPD cold case records, some high-profile unsolved homicides from this specific time period include the Aug. 24, 1984, killing of 14-year-old Claire Hough and the Aug. 15, 1985, killing of Ray Lucus.

In a grisly scene, Hough was found dead by passersby at Torrey Pines State Beach, within walking distance of her grandparents’ home where she had been staying. The teen had been beaten, strangled and stabbed, and one of her breasts had been severed. Evidence suggested an unknown suspect attacked the teenage girl while she was at the beach overnight.

Meanwhile, Lucus was discovered dead in the rear of his 1975 Chevy Blazer parked on 2000 Bayview Heights Rd. He had been strangled, bound and stuffed into a green duffle bag. Robbery was likely not a motive, as many valuable items remained in plain sight in Lucus’ car.

Though two years before this time period, another high-profile local unsolved homicide is that of 15-year-old Barbara Nantais. Her case could be tied to Hough’s, as similarities in the evidence suggests both may have been committed by the same perpetrator.

Nantais was found dead on Aug. 13, 1978, at Torrey Pines State Beach. She and her boyfriend, 17-year-old Jim Alt, had been sleeping on the beach when they were attacked by an unknown suspect.

Much like Hough’s case would show years later, Nantais had been strangled and beaten to death and one of her breasts had been severed. Alt was also attacked and suffered permanent physical and emotional injuries, including a severe head wound that left him semi-conscious with no recollection of the attack.

Police have not confirmed if any of the aforementioned cold cases are related in any way to Tatro.

Contact Us