Arrest made in 30-year-old California murder cold case

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 18, 2015 4:04 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Authorities have arrested a 67-year-old man for the sexual assault and murder of a San Francisco teenager whose body was found buried on a beach some 30 years ago, officials said on Wednesday.

John Joseph Scott was arrested in Topock, Arizona, on Monday after the cold case was reopened earlier this year and DNA evidence from the scene matched his, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The statement said Scott had long been suspected of murdering 19-year-old Sharon Ray, whose partially buried body was discovered by sightseers at Pescadero State Beach, some 45 miles south of San Francisco, on Oct. 30, 1983.

The sheriff's office said Ray had been sexually assaulted and strangled. The statement said Scott, who was 35 at the time, was initially arrested for the murder, but prosecutors dropped the case due to insufficient evidence.

Authorities determined that Scott lived in Topock, a rural desert community near where the California, Nevada and Arizona borders meet, and he was arrested in Mohave County on Monday afternoon.

He was being held on a bond of a $5 million and is set to be extradited to San Mateo County from Arizona, the sheriff's office said.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)