Gary Ramirez was arrested in 1982 for fatally stabbing Karen Stitt

A Hawaii man has been arrested for the 1982 murder of a teenager who was kidnapped from a bus stop in California, authorities announced on Tuesday.

Sunnyvale police have caught 75-year-old Gary Ramirez in Maui after concluding his DNA matched the blood from the crime scene of 15-year-old Karen Stitt, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Gary Ramirez.
DNA technology was used to link Gary Ramirez to the blood from Karen Stitt’s leather jacket.
Maui Police Department

Stitt was waiting for a bus in Sunnyvale when she disappeared in the early hours of September 3, 1982. According to a Mercury News report released Tuesday, a pickup truck driver found her naked body in bushes a soccer field away from the train station.

Police said DNA technology was used to link Ramirez to the blood from Karen’s leather jacket and the 4-foot cinder block wall where the killer left her after stabbing her 59 times.

Sunnyvale Police Detective Matt Hutchison revealed that upon his arrest, Ramirez — a retired bug exterminator and Air Force veteran with an injured hip — looked so shocked all he could say was, “Oh my God.”

Ramirez, a Fresno native, had no criminal record, police said. His older brother, Rudy Ramirez, who also lives on Maui, said it was hard to imagine his younger brother committing a gruesome murder.

“I’ve never seen him violent or angry,” Rudy Ramirez told the newspaper. “He wouldn’t harm a fly.”

In 2019, Hutchison worked with a genealogist who narrowed the DNA down to four brothers.

Hutchison then searched for one of Gary Ramirez’s children and collected a DNA sample that showed the suspect was highly likely their father, he said. Authorities then used a search warrant to wipe Gary Ramirez’s mouth for a DNA sample that a crime lab confirmed matched DNA found at the decades-old crime scene.

When he opened the email with the DNA match, “I wanted to scream but I can’t because I didn’t want to wake the hotel up,” Hutchison said. “So I just took a moment to think.”

He opened his laptop and clicked on the photo of Karen.

Karen Stitt.
Karen Stitt was waiting for a bus in Sunnyvale when she disappeared in the early hours of September 3, 1982.
Santa Clara County
Karen Stitt.
Karen Stitt’s body, naked and bloody, was found in a bush near the bus station.
Santa Clara County
Gary Ramirez.
Gary Ramirez allegedly stabbed Karen Stitt 59 times.
Santa Clara County
Gary Ramirez.
“I’ve never seen him violent or angry,” said Gary Ramirez’ brother.
Santa Clara County

“I took a quick look at her photo,” he said, “and I just said, ‘We did it.'”

Ramirez is being held in a Maui jail while awaiting an extradition hearing Wednesday for transport to California.

With mail wires

https://nypost.com/2022/08/10/gary-ramirez-arrested-for-1982-fatal-stabbing-of-karen-stitt/ Gary Ramirez was arrested in 1982 for fatally stabbing Karen Stitt

JACLYN DIAZ

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