COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A 45-year-old cold case in Orange County, California was solved on Tuesday in Colorado Springs. Investigators have been looking for the man who killed 11-year-old Linda O’Keefe in 1973 in Newport Beach.

Linda O’Keefe (credit: CBS)

On Wednesday, investigators in California held a news conference to talk about the 72-year-old suspect, James Neal. He was arrested in Colorado Springs after DNA submitted to an unnamed ancestry website matched DNA taken from Linda’s body decades ago.

James Neal (credit: CBS)

“As a result of surveillance and other traditional detective techniques, they were able to get additional DNA which resulted in the corroboration of the DNA from the victim’s body, to the DNA sample that the suspect left during a particular location during surveillance activities,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.

(credit: CBS)

Linda disappeared after walking home from summer school on July 6, 1973. Her body was found in a ditch the next day. Investigators say she was strangled to death.

(credit: CBS)

DNA from Neal which was left behind was used to develop images of the suspect. Those images were released in 2018.

Neal faced a judge on Wednesday.

Linda’s two sisters call the arrest bittersweet because their parents aren’t alive to see it.


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