SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA.com) — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance with a 32-year-old homicide investigation after new details about the case were uncovered in Irvine.
The serial killer, known as the Original Night Stalker or Golden State Killer, terrorized communities from Orange to Sacramento counties in the 70s and 80s. Detectives now say he may have been linked to a construction site.
“They reviewed five reports and discovered that traces of paint were located at two of the rapes and one of the homicide scenes in Irvine,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover said.
“Investigators started looking at the possible theory it would be consistent with the final stages of construction at the Longs Drug and the attached strip mall, which included paint in the building,” she said.
Investigators found that the strip mall section at 5801 Calle Real in Goleta and the drug store, located at 5875 Calle Real, initially had a building permit issued to a developer from Sacramento at the beginning of 1979.
Sheriff’s investigators are now exploring the possibility that the suspect may have come to the area to work on a construction site, possibly as a painter.
Former OC investigator Larry Pool provided CBS2/KCAL9 with newly released evidence, including the suspect’s rendering of a housing development with the word “punishment” scrawled on the back.
The suspect’s DNA profile has been linked to crimes in Orange, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Contra Costa and Sacramento counties.
Known as the Eastside rapist in Sacramento, he committed dozens of rapes there and then moved onto murder, killing 10 people — many of them couples in upscale areas — between 1979 and and 1986.
On July 26, 1981, 35-year-old Cheri Domingo and 27-year-old Gregory Sanchez were murdered while house-sitting a residence in the 400 block of Toltec Way in Goleta.
This homicide followed a double homicide that occurred in Goleta almost 18 months earlier.
In that case, 44-year-old Dr. Robert Offerman and 35-year-old Alexandria Manning were murdered in a Goleta condominium on Dec. 30, 1979. Both homicide scenes are located within close proximity to each other and are believed to be linked to the same suspect.
In May of 2011, investigators with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office along with the California Department of Justice DNA laboratory in Santa Barbara were able to locate DNA evidence at the Domingo/Sanchez homicide scene.
This same DNA profile has been linked to numerous rapes in northern California, including ones committed by the East Area Rapist in Southern Sacramento County in the late 1970s, and the Original Night Stalker who was responsible for multiple murders in Ventura and Orange County in the 1980s. Although a DNA profile exists for the suspect, his identity remains unknown.
It was when sheriff’s investigators reviewed the crime reports from the agencies working on the case that they discovered traces of paint were located in two of the rapes and one of the homicide scenes in Irvine.
This evidence is believed to have come from the suspect in all three cases.
The final stages of the strip mall project occurred during the same time frame as the Offerman and Manning murders.
Investigators say the Original Night Stalker serial killer should not be confused with serial killer Richard Ramirez who was frequently referred to as the Night Stalker during a deadly crime spree in California between June 1984 to August of 1985.
They ask that anyone who either worked on this construction site or has any information about employees who worked on this project call the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Bureau at (805)681-4150 or the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at (805)681-4171.
“Even if it’s been 30 years, we’re not going tot rest until we identify him and bring him to justice,” Hoover said.