An arrest was made last week for a 1980 homicide in Union City and a 1996 homicide in Solano County through new DNA evidence, according to police.
The suspect, 76-year-old James Ray Gary from Fairfield, has been linked in the 1980 murder of 46-year-old Latrelle Lindsay from Union City. Her cause of death was determined to be strangulation and blunt force trauma. She had also been a victim of sexual assault, Union City police said.
At the time, no suspect was identified, but a DNA sample was sent to a law enforcement database, according to police.
In March 1996, a body was found on Interstate 780 near Laurel Street in Vallejo. The victim was Winifred Douglas, a 46-year-old woman from the East Bay who also died from strangulation and blunt force injuries.
Evidence from that homicide with DNA was sent to the California Department of Justice for analysis, police said, but no match was made until 2012, when the Solano County Sheriff's Office was informed that the DNA profile from their homicide matched a piece of evidence from the Union City 1980 homicide.
Earlier this month, the Union City Police Department and the Solano County Sheriff's Office were notified that the DNA profile identified from their two cases also matched a sex crime investigated by another North Bay police department in 2021, according to police.
Detectives were able to identify Gary as a possible suspect and on July 18 submitted DNA samples from the suspect that were determined as matches for all three.
A warrant was then obtained for his arrest and to search his home. Gary was arrested on the afternoon of July 19 and was later booked into Solano County Jail on suspicion of homicide. He is being held without bail and additional charges are expected to be filed for Union City's 1980 homicide, police said.
Anyone with information related to the Union City homicide can contact Detective Fonseca at 510-675-5227. People wishing to remain anonymous can leave information on a tip line at 510-675-5207 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.