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Colorado man is headed back to O.C. to face charges in 1973 killing of 11-year-old Newport Beach girl

Colorado man is headed back to O.C. to face charges in 1973 killing of 11-year-old Newport Beach girl
James Alan Neal, 72, is accused of sexually assaulting and strangling Linda Ann O'Keefe of Newport Beach in 1973. (File Photo)

A Colorado man will be transferred to Orange County to face charges in connection with the 1973 slaying of 11-year-old Linda Ann O’Keefe of Newport Beach.

James Alan Neal, 72, will face accusations that he sexually assaulted and strangled Linda, who disappeared July 6, 1973, as she walked home from summer school at what was then Lincoln Intermediate — now Lincoln Elementary — in Corona del Mar. Her body was found the next day in Newport Beach’s Back Bay.

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Neal, of Monument, Colo., waived his right to an extradition hearing Thursday in the El Paso County courthouse in Colorado Springs, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

Linda Ann O’Keefe, 11, disappeared July 6, 1973, while walking home from summer school in Corona del Mar. Her body was found a day later in Newport Beach’s Back Bay, police said.
Linda Ann O’Keefe, 11, disappeared July 6, 1973, while walking home from summer school in Corona del Mar. Her body was found a day later in Newport Beach’s Back Bay, police said. (File Photo)

At the time of the killing, Neal lived in Orange County under the name James Albert Layton Jr. After the slaying he moved to Florida and changed his name after an incident there, authorities said.

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Records indicate he moved to Monument in 2016 with his wife and her daughter’s family, the Gazette reported.

Authorities used the genealogical website FamilyTreeDNA to link Neal to DNA evidence found on Linda’s body.

Daily Pilot staff contributed to this report.

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