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Hawaii man, 75, accused of stabbing California teen 59 times in 1982

A 75-year-old Hawaii man was accused Tuesday of the brutal rape and murder of a California teenager, four decades after her body was found by way of a cinder block wall in Silicon Valley, authorities said.

Gary Ramirez was from the 1982 killing of Karen Stitt, 15, following a Sunnyvale police detective was alerted to the killer’s possible identity this past year, according to court papers filed in Santa Clara County.

Ramirez, who was raised in the Fresno area and served in the Air Force, was arrested Aug. 2 in Maui and is likely to be extradited on charges of murder, kidnap and rape, the Santa Clara County District Attorneys Office said in a news release.

Karen Stitt, 15, of Palo Alto, around 1982.
Karen Stitt, 15, of Palo Alto, around 1982.Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office

A trucker found Stitt’s body on the morning of Sept. 3, 1982, at the bottom of a cinder block wall, in accordance with a statement of facts contained in the court papers.

An autopsy revealed that she’d been stabbed 59 times, the document says. Sunnyvale Police Detective Matt Hutchinson, who wrote the statement of facts, said the teen had been raped.

Stitt’s boyfriend, who was simply with her the night time before she was killed, was thought to be a suspect, the district attorney’s office said.

They’d met on the night time Sept. 2 at a 7-Eleven in Sunnyvale, where in fact the boyfriend lived, and spent a couple of hours together before Stitt visited a bus stop for a ride home to Palo Alto, based on the statement of facts.

Her naked body was found 100 yards from the bus stop, the document says.

The boyfriend was eliminated as a suspect following a DNA analysis discovered that sperm collected from Stitt’s body and male blood bought at the crime scene didnt match an example supplied by the boyfriend.

No other suspect was identified, and the case remained cold until 2021, 2 yrs after Hutchinson teamed up with a genetic genealogist, The Associated Press reported.

The researcher discovered that a son of a female named Rose Aguilera Ramirez could have killed Stitt, the statement of facts says.

Hutchinson discovered that the girl family lived in the Fresno area and that she had four sons, based on the document. The detective eliminated two of the brothers as you possibly can suspects using police and public record information databases, the document says.

When details for just one of both remaining brothers couldn’t be verified, Hutchinson found a kid of Gary Ramirez and obtained DNA, based on the statement of facts.

The county crime lab compared the DNA sample from the crime scene and found “quite strong statistical support” they were a match, the statement says.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Ramirez, who was simply arrested at his home in Makawao, includes a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

One of is own brothers, Rudy Ramirez, told the San Jose Mercury-News that he’d never seen his brother get violent or angry.

“He wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he told the newspaper.

Tim Stelloh is really a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.

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