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Cold Case: Elaine Armstrong


If you have a tip, call the SDPD Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293. For anonymous tips, call Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477 or submit your tip online.

Elaine Armstrong

October 16, 1981

1753 Garnet Avenue


On October 16, 1981, the remains of an unidentified female were discovered behind Vic’s Office Supply at 1753 Garnet Avenue. The woman had been beaten, stabbed, and set on fire.

The victim was described as a Caucasian female, approximately 50 years old, 5’4”, and 104 lbs. She turned out to be homeless in Pacific Beach and known to residents and business owners but her actual identity was unable to be determined until 2023.

With financial assistance from Project Justice, Othram, a private, forensic biotechnology company, was able to develop a DNA profile from the evidence. Ultimately, this profile led to the identification of the victim as Elaine Armstrong of Kalamazoo, MI. Armstrong was 51 years old at the time of her death. Armstrong’s identity was confirmed by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office

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 below.