SANTA MONICA (CBS) — Police said Thursday that they have solved a cold case murder dating back to 1980 that left a Santa Monica teenager dead.
David Salmon, 53, was arrested on May 17 at his Pittsburgh-area home in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Joaquin Mansion.
Mansion was shot and killed by three suspects during a home invasion robbery in the 700 block of Marine Street on May 21, 1980, police said.
Authorities say the residence was a known drug house at the time of the murder.
Salmon and two juvenile suspects reportedly demanded money and marijuana from Mansion before he was shot once in the head, police records said.
“Two juvenile co-conspirators were located, arrested and convicted of the robbery and homicide in the months following the crime, but the adult gunman, a transient known to acquaintances only by a nickname, was never identified,” Sgt. Richard Lewis said.
The investigation was suspended and went cold until it was recently reopened by Santa Monica’s Cold Case Unit.
“Substantial improvements in electronic law enforcement and open source databases since 1980 provided valuable leads that were unavailable to detectives in 1980. This information took detectives to Illinois, South Dakota, and Pennsylvania, ultimately pointing them toward Salmon,” Lewis said.
Police found and recovered evidence that indicated Salmon was the shooter, Lewis added.
He was arrested in Shaler Township, Penn. by Santa Monica detectives, members of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s and Pennsylvania law enforcement.
Salmon is currently being held in the Allegheny County Jail awaiting extradition.