LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Long Beach Police have announced the arrest of a murder suspect — who confessed to the 1974 crime — but now they have to figure out who his victim was.
To the police she is simply Jane Doe #40.
Long Beach Police cold case investigators — through a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) “Solving Cold Cases with DNA” grant — recently focused their attention on the backlog of unsolved homicides awaiting case review, evidence screening, and potential DNA analysis.
Among the backlog was a young woman who was murdered in May 1974. The victim, who was found on Alamitos Beach, near Alamitos Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, remains unidentified.
Cold case investigators were puzzled that they could not locate a missing person’s report that matched Doe’s physical description.
They turned the case back over to Long Beach homicide detectives. Todd Johnson and Malcolm Evans’ investigation led to the identification of a possible suspect/witness who is now residing in Texas. This subject admitted to homicide detectives that he assisted the suspect in the murder of Jane Doe #40 by helping to dispose of her body. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office will ultimately review his involvement and determine if any charges should be filed.
The witness identified a 61-year-old man living in California.
Officials say that man — now identified as Gary Stamp — confessed to the May 28, 1974 rape and strangulation murder of the victim.
Stamp was arrested on May 20, 2013 — nearly 39 years to the day of the murder. He is scheduled for arraignment on June 12 in Long Beach Superior Court.
The suspect is unable to identify the victim. He said he believed her first name might have been “Anna.” Detectives believe Stamp met Anna in a bar or on a street in the downtown Long Beach area.
With the aid of the National Center for the Missing and Exploited Children, a rendering of the victim has been made available.
Long Beach Police are hopeful someone can identify Jane Doe #40:
• Ethnicity – White or Hispanic
• Age – Estimated late teens to early 20’s
• Height – 5 feet 2 inches
• Weight – 135 pounds
• Hair – Long brown
• Eyes – Brown
• Distinguishing Marks – Scar on top of left hand
• Possible Name/Nickname – “Anna”
• Clothing – Two piece pink pantsuit with black waist length faux fur coat and black boots
• Jewelry – 14k white gold ring with small diamond solitaire
Anyone with any information regarding the identity of Jane Doe #40 is urged to contact Homicide Detectives Todd Johnson or Malcolm Evans at (562) 570-7244.