THE CITY OF ANGELES — Prosecutors in California said Thursday that a man they dubbed a serial murderer was found guilty of the rape and murder of two women in the 1980s thanks to DNA evidence.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that Horace Van Vaultz Jr., 67, was found guilty of first-degree murder with special circumstance accusations that the crimes comprised numerous deaths, rape, and sodomy.
Vaultz, a former resident of Bakersfield, was arrested in 2019 and has been detained ever since. When he is finally sentenced next month, it is possible that he will receive a term of life in jail without the possibility of release.
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Vaultz was found guilty of murder in the 1986 death of Mary Duggan, who was 22 years old. Her car was discovered in a parking area in Burbank, California, a suburb where her body was discovered. In addition, he was found guilty of murdering Selena Keough, 20, whose body was discovered in bushes outside of a Montclair, San Bernardino County, apartment building in 1981. They had a double snuffing.
Investigative genetic genealogy, in which genealogical websites are used to identify prospective relatives of a suspect based on DNA acquired at a crime scene, was used to link the crimes, which had been unsolved for decades, to Vaultz.