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Bay Area man arrested in 1989 cold-case killing on San Bruno Mountain

CrimeHomicideSexual Assault
Bay Area man arrested in 1989 cold-case slaying of 27-year-old woman found by hikers in ravine
Man arrested in connection with sexual assault and killing of woman on San Bruno Mountain in 1989

An unsolved homicide from 25 years ago in San Mateo County in which a woman was sexually assaulted then killed on San Bruno Mountain has been solved, authorities announced Thursday.

Sheriff’s officials said they arrested Gabriel Rey O'Neill, 45, in connection with the slaying of Sheila Lorraine Hatcher, 27, in 1989. After the initial investigation faltered the case went cold until last year, when Hatcher's family asked detectives to reexamine it.

Hatcher's body was found in a ravine by two hikers, but detectives were unable to link any suspects to the crime. The coroner's office concluded that she had been sexually assaulted and died of blunt force trauma.

Detectives resubmitted some of the crime scene evidence for forensics testing and hit a match in O'Neill, a registered sex offender, authorities said.

On Monday sheriff's deputies spotted O'Neill driving near his Bay Area home in Brisbane and arrested him. He was being held without bail on suspicion of murder. 

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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