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.
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.
“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