SANTA ANA, Calif. (CBS4/AP) — A Colorado man charged with the 1973 murder of an 11-year-old girl in Southern California also faces charges of sex acts on two other girls. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday charged 72-year-old James Neal with lewd acts on two girls under 14 years old in Riverside County between 1995 and 2004.
Neal was extradited from Colorado after he was charged with the 1973 murder of 11-year-old Linda O’Keefe in the seaside community of Newport Beach.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 29. He is being held without bail.
O’Keefe disappeared while she was walking home from summer school and her body was found the next day.
Investigators identified Neal as a suspect with help from genealogical DNA. Neal was identified using the online site “Family Tree,” but a variety of similar databases exist and are now used by investigators.
“What law enforcement is doing is they are submitting their profiles from their crime scenes to see if there someone related to the person I’m looking for,” Mitch Morrissey said.
Morrissey is the co-founder of United Data Connect, one of the only familial DNA searching companies in Colorado. As more people use those sites, law enforcement agencies are seeing more success closing cold cases.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)