LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An El Monte man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder in connection with the 1996 killing of a 67-year-old woman, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
David Adolph Bernal, 46, was taken into custody in connection with the killing of Mary Lindgren, who deputies said was brutally beaten and raped.
According to the sheriff’s department, Lindgren was a resident at the Covina Villa Retirement Home, an assisted living center for senior citizens in Covina, at the time of her death. She lived alone in a first floor bedroom and was found Jan. 19, 1996 at about 7:30 a.m. by staff at the facility. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
LASD homicide investigators assisted the Covina Police Department with the initial investigation that included the collection of several items of evidence, including DNA believed to belong to the suspect.
During initial analysis, the unidentified male’s DNA profile failed to match any previously existing profiles within the state or federal criminal justice DNA databases.
The department said investigators continued to send out crime broadcasts in the following years about the homicide, but failed to lead to a suspect in Lindgren’s killing.
But in 2019, the unidentified DNA profile was submitted to the state’s DNA search and identification process. And, in July of this year, officials with the California Department of Justice notified investigators that Bernal was a probable suspect in the case.
LASD said Bernal’s DNA matched with the sample collected from Lindgren’s body in 1996 and an arrest and search warrant was issued.
Bernal is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in the Los Angeles Superior Court. His bail has been set at $2 million.