Man held in 1989 slaying of transgender woman in Santa Ana


A 63-year-old retiree was being held Thursday in connection with the fatal stabbing of a transgender woman in 1989, a cold case that authorities say was revived through advances in forensic technology.

Douglas Gregory Gutridge, a Lodi resident, is being held on suspicion of murder in the death of Carla Salazar, according to the Orange County district attorney.

Gutridge was an early suspect in the case after talking with Santa Ana police detectives, but authorities said they never had enough evidence to file charges against him.


The case was revived after the creation of the Orange County Cold Case Homicide Task Force, which used DNA evidence and fresh interviews with witnesses and police detectives to build a case, prosecutors said.

Gutridge was arrested at his Central Valley home on Dec. 9 and is now held in Santa Ana on $1-million bail.

Salazar was killed June 28, 1989, in her fourth floor apartment in Santa Ana and may have been seen earlier that evening in an elevator with a man, according to published accounts.

The Times reported at the time that she was found by a friend and the manager of the apartment/ She suffered multiple stab wounds. The friend was alarmed because she had not come to work, the report said.

Salazar’s slaying is among scores of transgender killings listed on the U.C. Riverside LGBT Resource Center web page.