Four decades after her body was discovered beside a cinder block wall in Silicon Valley, a 75-year-old Hawaii man was charged with the savage rape and murder of an 18-year-old California girl, authorities said.
Court filings in Santa Clara County show that a Sunnyvale police investigator was made aware of the killer’s likely identity last year and that Gary Ramirez was then linked to the 1982 slaying of 15-year-old Karen Stitt in Sunnyvale.
Arrested Aug. 2 on allegations of kidnapping, rape, and murder in Maui, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said in a press statement that Ramirez, who grew up in the Fresno region, was anticipated to be extradited to the United States.
On the morning of September 3, 1982, a trucker discovered the body of Stitt, who had been murdered, at the base of a cinder block wall, according to court documents.
According to the report, an autopsy found that she had been stabbed 59 times. According to Sunnyvale Police Detective Matt Hutchinson, who drafted the statement of facts, the adolescent had also been sexually assaulted by an adult.
According to the district attorney’s office, Stitt’s boyfriend, who had been with her the night before she was found dead, was initially thought to be a suspect.
After meeting at a 7-Eleven in Sunnyvale, California, where the boyfriend lived, on the night of Sept. 2, they spent a few hours together before Stitt returned to Palo Alto by bus.
According to the police report, her naked body was recovered about 100 yards from the bus stop.
An examination of the boyfriend’s DNA indicated that sperm from Stitt’s body and male blood found at the crime scene did not match a sample provided by the boyfriend, therefore ruling him out of contention as a suspect.
Two years after Hutchinson teamed up with a genetic genealogist, no more suspects were found, and the case remained unsolved until 2021, according to the AP.
Stitt’s death may have been committed by the son of Rose Aguilera Ramirez, according to the statement of facts.
According to the paper, Hutchinson discovered that the woman’s family lived in Fresno and that she had four sons. According to the report, the detective ruled out two of the brothers as potential possibilities after consulting with law enforcement and public records.
According to the statement of facts, Hutchinson collected DNA from a kid of Gary Ramirez after he was unable to verify the identity of one of the two surviving brothers.
It was determined that “extremely significant statistical support” for a match was established by the county crime lab, according to a statement.
Not immediately known if Ramirez, who was detained at his Makawao residence, has an attorney who can speak for him.
In an interview with the San Jose Mercury-News, Rudy Ramirez, one of his brothers, said he had never seen his brother become aggressive or irate.
“He wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he said in a newspaper interview.