DNA Identifies Suspect in Cold Murder Case

Mary London. / SacPD Photo

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

A suspect in the nearly 40-year-old murder of a Sacramento high schooler has been identified using DNA evidence, the Sacramento Police Department announced today.

Mary London, 17, was found the morning of Jan. 15, 1981 on what was then a rural stretch of San Juan Road in Sacramento. London was a 10th grader at Sacramento High School at the time of her death and, according to her family, was developmentally disabled.

Investigators determined London had been stabbed multiple times and died as a result of her injuries, but the case then went cold. Police said they continued to investigate London’s murder and a had a breakthrough in the case when new DNA technology was introduced.

Police investigators worked with the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office to use genetic genealogy and traditional DNA testing which linked Vernon Parker as the sole suspect in London’s murder.

Parker himself was murdered in 1982, a little more than a year after London’s death, according to police.

“Though this case won’t end with the suspect facing the justice system, the decades of work by Sacramento Police Department investigators, forensic personnel, and the office of the Sacramento County District Attorney has resulted in what we hope will be closure for London’s family,” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn.

DNA technology is now providing new leads in crimes which have gone unsolved for years — like London’s murder.

“Investigative Genetic Genealogy has revolutionized law enforcement’s ability to solve violent crime: to identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent,” District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said. “Mary London’s murder is yet another example of the passion and persistence of law enforcement and the use of innovative scientific techniques to bring justice to victims and their families.”

Speak Your Mind