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Cold Case Homicide Team

Cold Cases 1981 - 1985

Victim
Photo of Victim Jane Doe's Shoes

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Victim: Jane Doe

Date: October 16, 1981

Address: 1753 Garnet Avenue

Synopsis: On the morning of October 16, 1981, the body of an unidentified woman was discovered behind Vic’s Office Supply at 1753 Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach. The woman had been stabbed repeatedly in the neck, beaten and set on fire.

The victim turned out to be a local transient, known to residents and business owners who saw her in the area almost every day as the “Bag Lady.” Sadly, detectives were never able to identify the Bag Lady by name or locate her next of kin. She was a white female, approximately fifty years old, 5’4” tall and weighing 104 lbs.

The photo shown is the only known depiction of the Bag Lady, taken after her death.

The suspect in this crime has never been identified. A shoe print at the scene suggests the suspect was wearing shoes similar to those depicted in the photo.


Victim
Photo of Victim Linda Neukum

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Victim: Linda Neukum

Date: December 23, 1981

Address: 300 Market Street

Synopsis: Linda Neukum was seen leaving the Marion Hotel in downtown San Diego during the late evening hours of December 23, 1981. At approximately 11 p.m. a bystander found Neukum staggering out of an alley toward 300 Market Street. Neukum collapsed, telling the bystander she had been stabbed and her attacker was a white male. Neukum was rushed to the hospital but later died in surgery as a result of numerous stab wounds.

A possible suspect was seen running northbound on Second Street at the time the incident occurred. The suspect was described as a white male, medium build, 5’8” to 5’11” with dark short or collar length hair, wearing loose fitting dark clothing. The suspect is unknown and still at large.


Victim #2
Photo of Victim Robert Earl Knight

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Crime Scene
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Crime Scene
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Victim #1: Otis Peoples (fatal)

Victim #2: Robert Earl Knight (non-fatal)

Victim #3: Henry Phillip Lucas (non fatal)

Date: May 10, 1982

Address: 100 No. 32nd Street and “L” Street

Synopsis: Investigation revealed that victim #2 stated that he and the other victims were walking down 32nd Street when they first noticed the suspects. The truck had driven by earlier and the suspects had yelled something at them. The truck circled the block and came through the alley facing the victims. As the truck got close, driving towards the victims, the suspects said something again and the three victims started to run. Several shots were fired from the bed of the truck. Victim #2 was wounded in the foot and victim #3 was struck in the leg. Victim #1 sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. The suspect vehicle had previously been seen driving around the area with several white male subjects.

The truck is described as being a new four wheel drive Toyota or Datsun, with possible blue and white stripes on the side. The truck had large, off road tires with chrome wheels and a possible black roll bar in the bed area. The truck at that time contained approximately three white males riding in the bed area of the truck and two or three more passengers in the cab area.

Two of the victims were identified as gang members, but investigation did not indicate that the shootings were gang related. No motive was established for this crime. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the police.


Victim
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Victim: Rebecca Burch

Date: Jan 13, 1983

Address: 1244 Tenth Avenue

Synopsis: Rebecca Burch lived alone in an apartment on Tenth Avenue in downtown San Diego. On January 13, 1983 after not seeing Burch for a several weeks, her landlord checked on her and found Burch’s body in her room. Burch had been strangled to death. There were no signs of forced entry, but there were signs of a struggle or ransacking inside the apartment. A .22 revolver handgun and a Timex watch are missing and unaccounted for.


Victim: Carole DeFleice (photo not available)

Date: February 25, 1984

Address: Somewhere along El Cajon Blvd.

Synopsis: Carole DeFleice, also known as “Nina Star,” had been in San Diego for about six weeks prior to her murder. During this time she had been working as a prostitute along El Cajon Boulevard. She was living at the Sea Point Motel and taking her dates to the Aztec Motel at the dead-end of 4400 Camino Del Rio South. DeFleice was last seen alive on El Cajon Boulevard at around 9 p.m. on Friday night, February 25, 1984. DeFleice told a close friend she had plans to get picked up for a date at about 11:00 p.m.

On that same evening, a little after 11 p.m., DeFleice’s friend was being driven past that same area when she spotted DeFleice lying on the ground. She had been stabbed to death.


Victim
Photo of Victim Claire Hough

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Victim: Claire Hough

Date: August 24, 1984

Address: Torrey Pines State Beach

Synopsis: On the morning of August 24, 1984, police officers responded to Torrey Pines State Beach, where passerbys found the body of 14-year-old Claire Hough. Hough had been beaten, strangled and stabbed, and one of her breasts had been severed. Hough had been staying with her grandparents at their home, which was within walking distance of the beach where she was found. She had apparently left the home at night without her grandparent’s knowledge, possibly to go for a walk on the beach or join up with friends. The evidence suggested that an unknown suspect attacked Hough while she was at the beach.

Although this case and the case of Barbara Nantais occurred six years apart, similarities in the cases suggest both were committed by the same perpetrator.


Fugitive Suspect
Photo of Fugitive Suspect Luis Pinales

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Victim: Vicente Rodriguez

Fugitive Suspect: Luis Piñales

Date: July 8, 1985

Address: 2400 Island Avenue

Synopsis: Luis Piñales is wanted for the murder of Vicente Rodriguez that occurred at 2400 Island Avenue on July 8, 1985. There is an outstanding felony arrest warrant charging Luis Piñales with murder.

The victim, Vicente Rodriguez, moved to San Diego from Mexico and lived on Island Avenue. On July 8, 1985, Rodriguez became involved in an altercation with Piñales. During the altercation, Piñales produced a handgun and shot Rodriguez. The altercation might have stemmed from a previous altercation between the men that occurred several days before.

At the time the incident occurred, Piñales had just been released from jail. Piñales fled after the shooting and has not been seen since.


Victim
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Victim: Ray Lucus

Date: August 15, 1985

Address: 2000 Bayview Heights Road

Synopsis: Early on the morning of August 15, 1985, a passer-by found the body of Ray Lucus lying in the rear of his 1975 Chevy Blazer parked on 2000 Bayview Heights Road. Lucas had been strangled, bound hand and foot and stuffed into a green duffle bag. Many valuable items remained in plain sight in the car, which probably rules out robbery as a motive.


Fugitive Suspect
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Victim: Charles Williams

Fugitive Suspect: Jose Santiago

Date: October 1, 1985

Address: 3100 K Street

Synopsis: Jose Manuel Santiago is wanted for the murder of Charles Williams that occurred on October 1, 1985 at 3100 K Street in San Diego. There is an outstanding felony arrest charging Santiago with murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

On October 1, 1985, a man named Smith became involved in a fight with one or two men in the area of 33rd Street and Imperial Avenue. After the fight, Smith went to a nearby house and recruited four friends to help, one of whom was Jose Santiago. Smith and Santiago armed themselves with guns. Smith, Santiago and the others then drove back to the area of the fight looking for revenge.

At 3200 Imperial Avenue, the men found the first victim, White. Smith and Santiago both opened fire on White, who was struck twice but survived.

The suspects then drove to 3100 K Street where they spotted the victim Williams. Williams tried to escape by running between the houses. Smith and Santiago opened fire on Williams, striking him in the head. Williams was taken to the hospital where he died on October 4, 1985.

All of the suspects in this case were located and arrested, except for Santiago who is still at large. Santiago is a Hispanic male, born 9/20/63. He is 5’6” tall, 130 lbs, has black hair and brown eyes.

The suspect has a brother, Benito Alvarez Santiago, DOB: 3/3/55, who at the time lived at 2941 Franklin Avenue in San Diego.

Last Updated July 2008