Suspect Arrested in 1973 Murder of Newport Beach Child

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A Colorado Springs, Colorado, man has been arrested in the 46 year-old cold case murder of Linda Ann O'Keefe, 11, who was last seen July 6, 1973 walking home from summer school in Newport Beach, California.

Ms. O'Keefe went missing while walking home from summer school in the sleepy beach town. An initial description of the suspect was provided by a two witnesses, a mother and her daughter, who told investigating police, in 1973, they had seen Ms. O'Keefe standing beside a turquoise van on the corner of Marguerite and Inlet Drive. The driver side door was open. The driver was a white male, in his mid-20's or early 30's.


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Linda Ann O'Keefe was found the following day in the marshes of Back Bay Drive. She was strangled.

"As the Orange County District Attorney, I am committed to protecting the community. My office will never forget about cold cases. Our hearts go out to the victim and the victim's family in this case, having to endure decades without answers. We will make sure that the defendant is fairly and justly held accountable in a court of law," said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.

Newport Beach Police Department went viral in its search to find the killer utilizing not only state of the art DNA Sciences which narrowed suspects based on their genetic markers creating a profile of likely features. They then used age enhancements technology to build an idea of what the suspect may look like today, 46 years later.


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Employing the Parabon NanoLabs, the detectives provided DNA left at the scene by the killer and the cutting edge forensic laboratory used a program called Snapshot DNA Analysis to build a snapshot prediction composite profile, providing snapshots of both the twenty year old version as well as the age enhanced version in color.

Taking this information and a compelling story of the last day of Linda's life, Detectives launched a twitter campaign in July 6, 2018, 46 years after her death.

Sending out the all-points communique Detectives in Newport Beach with the assistance of the Colorado Springs, Colorado Police Department and the El Paso, Texas County Sheriff's Department along with the Federal Bureau of Investigations.


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Seven months after the twitter campaign began, Orange County Prosecutors announced an arrest.

Spitzer credited the tireless effort of the many police agencies involved and also mentioned the technology from Parabon-Nano Labs. The technology provides law enforcement with tools for generating investigative leads, narrowing suspects and solving jane or john doe deaths and even assists in finding living relatives.

Finding the killer in a nearly fifty year old murder is a testament to the dedication of law enforcement working on the fragmented mysteries left behind.


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An additional Press Conference will be held February 20, 2019 which is expected to name the suspect and discuss further the use of the tools used in bringing closure to her remaining family and an end to this very sad story.

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