It has been 45 years since Linda Ann O’Keefe, an 11-year-old Corona del Mar girl, vanished while walking home from summer school.
Her body, still wearing the white dress adorned with blue flowers that her mother had sewn, was found the next morning — July 7, 1973 — in Newport Beach’s Back Bay. She had been strangled.
“There were reports that a man in a van was seen stopped near Linda … and a bulletin was distributed with a sketch of this man, but he was never identified,” Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said Thursday. “Investigators have conducted interviews, gathered evidence and followed leads for 45 years, but none of them ever led to Linda’s killer.”
On Friday, the Police Department began telling Linda’s story on Twitter in an effort to generate new leads in a case that has long grown cold.
The series of tweets — written with Linda as the narrator — began with an introduction to the girl, her home on Orchid Avenue and her journey to summer school at what was then Lincoln Intermediate at 8 a.m. Friday, July 6, 1973.
The tweets will continue into Saturday morning, chronicling the last hours of her life and culminating at about the same time of day that Newport police detectives launched a homicide investigation into her death more than four decades ago.
The department recently used Parabon NanoLabs, a medical laboratory based in Virginia, to generate the snapshot profile, according to police.
The process uses DNA to calculate a possible suspect’s facial composite, gender, ancestry, freckles and skin, eye and hair color.