She was found strangled with dinner still on the stove. 47 years later, police identify her killer

She was found strangled with dinner still on the stove. 47 years later, police identify her killer

Naomi Sanders was making steak for dinner.

Vallejo, California, police know this because, when they searched her apartment the day after she was murdered, it was still waiting half-cooked on the stovetop. It was a double portion; police think the second steak was for her poodle Cindy.

Sanders, 57, lived alone in Apt. 12 of the Oakwood Garden Apartments. Sometime during the night of Feb. 27, 1973, someone came in and attacked her. Police found her partially nude body on her bed; the murderer had raped and strangled her. Cindy watched over her owner’s body until police took her away.

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Police knew immediately it would be tough to find leads in the case. In Sanders’ window was a large cardboard sign with the word “OPEN” written on it. She was the apartment building manager and regularly invited apartment-hunters in. With no known enemies or angry ex-boyfriends, police figured their suspect crossed paths with Sanders this way.

Months turned to years, then decades. For 47 years, as Sanders’ friends and family too passed away, her murder went cold.

Video: FBI reviewing case of detective killed 30 years ago In 2014, the Vallejo Police Department submitted Sanders’ clothing from the crime scene to the California Department of Justice laboratory. Lab techs discovered a semen sample and developed a DNA profile of the suspect. But when police entered it into the nationwide DNA indexing system CODIS, no matches were found.They tried again a few years later to no avail. But in 2018, detectives partnered […]

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