LANCASTER (CBSLA.com) — Deputies Wednesday announced the arrest of two men in connection with the murder of a Lancaster woman in 1978.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, 20-year-old Leslie Long — a married woman who had three young children — worked alone at a gas station on the corner of Palmdale Boulevard and Division Street in the City of Palmdale.
Between 8 p.m. and 10:05 p.m. on Dec. 3, 1978, two African American men entered the gas station with a handgun, and robbed Long of an undisclosed amount of money.
Deputies said the suspects then kidnapped Long, forced her into their vehicle at gun point, and drove away heading south on the Antelope Valley Freeway towards Los Angeles.
The suspects then pulled off the freeway and drove to a deserted area where they raped Long before shooting her multiple times.
After the shooting, both men returned to the vehicle and fled from the scene.
Paramedics pronounced Long dead at the scene.
According to detectives, the search for her killers remained unsolved for the past 37 years.
“At the time of the murder, both suspects were active gang members,” said Det. Steven Lankford.
In March 2006, new leads and persons of interest re-opened the case.
Officials said Neal Matthews, 58, and Terry Moses, 59, were linked to the horrific crime after DNA technology located their sperm on Long’s body.
Matthews was arrested at his home in Lancaster on Thursday, detectives added. He is being held at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, and appeared in court on Tuesday. He remains in custody without bail.
Deputies said Moses is currently serving a life sentence on an unrelated case. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office filed an arrest warrant on Moses in connection with Long’s murder. He is expected to be arraigned at a later date.
Anyone with information about this case was urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at (323) 890-5500.