The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office a filed capital murder charge Monday against a registered sex offender who was arrested last week on suspicion of a 1980 rape and murder.
San Pedro resident Robert Yniguez, 65, was scheduled to be arraigned Monday on one count of murder with the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a rape.
The charge makes him eligible for the death penalty. A statement from the district attorney’s office said a decision on whether to seek the death penalty would be made later.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrested Yniguez on Thursday at his home.
DNA evidence found on the victim’s body allegedly linked Yniguez to the murder of Teresa Broudreaux, 20, whose nude body was found on the morning of March 4, 1980, on a rocky beach at Malaga Cove in Palos Verdes Estates.
Broudreaux, who was pregnant and also had a 4-year-old daughter, died of blunt-force trauma to the head, authorities said.
Yniguez had a conviction for rape in the 1980s and served time in prison, Sheriff’s Det. Ralph Hernandez said.
“I’ve waited a long time for this day,” Broudreaux’s husband, Ronnie Fematt, said through tears at a news conference held Friday to announce the arrest. “It has been a long time, what I’ve been through, the uncertainty of not knowing why or how.”
For nearly four decades, Fematt said, he endured suspicious stares, rumors from neighbors and gossiping co-workers who thought he was responsible for the death of his wife.
“I felt like a suspect,” said Fematt, who was 23 at the time. “I wasn’t the one.”