Man who allegedly raped, killed O.C. teen 25 years ago extradited

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A former Orange County resident has been extradited from New Mexico and charged in a nearly 25-year-old case in which an 18-year-old woman was strangled to death as she was being raped in her home, prosecutors said.

Daniel Edward McDermott, 44, faces a felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a rape, with a maximum penalty of life in state prison without the possibility of parole if he’s convicted, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

McDermott is accused of entering a Buena Park home and strangling Gehmine Chandler as he raped her in 1988, prosecutors said. The teen’s body was found later that morning by her father, who called police.

Investigators collected DNA but the case eventually went cold, prosecutors said.


In February 2009, authorities reopened their investigation and reinterviewed family members and friends who had been named in initial reports.

By March 2010, investigators spoke with McDermott, who was living in Albuquerque, and found that his DNA had not be obtained, prosecutors said. In October of this year, investigators traveled to New Mexico to obtain the sample; McDermott agreed to meet the investigators at the Albuquerque Police Department for further questioning and to submit a sample, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said his saliva sample was a match to those taken from the crime scene. McDermott was arrested Oct. 28 by Albuquerque police and was extradited Wednesday from New Mexico.


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