SANTA ANA (CBS) — A death row inmate convicted of killing a 13-year-old Orange County boy has been found dead in his cell at San Quentin State Prison.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports James Crummel was pronounced dead Sunday after being found hanging by an extension cord.

Crummel, 68, had been on death row since being convicted in 2004 of kidnapping, molesting and killing James Wilfred Trotter, a Costa Mesa boy who disappeared on his way to school in 1979.

Prosecutors said Crummel lived on the same street where Trotter’s family lived.

The boy’s body wasn’t found until 1990 when Crummel told police he had found a skull while hiking in the Cleveland National Forest in Riverside County. The boy was not identified until 1996.

Crummel’s attorney said at his sentencing that her client couldn’t express regret for a crime he did not commit.

Twenty death row inmates have committed suicide since 1978, according to state corrections officials.


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