After new advances in forensic science technology linked him to the murder weapon, authorities prosecuted a California tech business executive in the 1992 murder of his roommate’s fiancée.
After landing in New York from Amsterdam, John Kevin Woodward, president, and CEO of Readytech was detained by the Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney on Saturday, according to a press statement.
In the case of Laurie Houts, a 25-year-old computer engineer, he was charged with her murder.
To be extradited to California’s Santa Clara County, Woodward is now being detained without bail in New York City. Is he represented by an attorney?
In the early hours of September 5, 1992, a passerby discovered Houts dead in her automobile near a nearby waste dump. According to the DA’s office, the rope used to strangle her was still around her neck.
“Her footprints were left on the windshield as a reminder of her battle with Woodward. Her wallet was close by, unrifled “According to the press release,
The investigation led to Woodward as the perpetrator. Because Woodward had formed affections for Houts’ partner that were not reciprocated, he was “openly envious,” according to the DA’s office.
According to the press release, prosecutors claimed that Woodward lacked an alibi and asked investigators about the death of Houts when confronted by the boyfriend.
Investigators recovered Woodward’s fingerprints on the outside of Houts’ car, but they were unable to prove that he was inside the vehicle.
Woodward tried again in the late 1990s for the death, but both times the case was dropped. According to Mountain View police, the first trial was unable to reach a verdict. After a second trial, a judge threw out the case because of insufficient evidence, according to the district attorney’s office.
After the case was thrown out, Woodward relocated to the Netherlands.
It was not until 2020 that Mountain View police revealed that detectives began reinvestigating the case and resubmitting evidence to the Santa Clara County Crime Lab.
Cops said that samples of Woodward’s DNA were found in the evidence, which they believe to be accurate. Re-examination of more than 80 latent fingerprints yielded a match for Woodward’s.
Detectives and a crime lab in 2021 were able to use advanced forensic science techniques to link “Woodward to the rope found around Ms. Houts’ neck,” the DA’s office stated.
There are hopes that justice will finally be served, according to the Houts family.
“Family and friends cherished Laurie Anne Houts’s presence in their lives. Despite her diminutive stature, she has a big heart and was beloved by many for her wit and tenacity. A shining example of what was right in the world, Laurie’s life and treatment of others were both admirable. She was a treasure to so many, but we lost her too soon when she was only 25 years old “According to a statement released by the family through police.