Unsolved Monterey Homicides

Unsolved Monterey Homicides Unsolved Monterey Homicides

Cold Case Files

The Monterey Police Department is actively pursuing our unsolved "Cold-Case" homicides. Although many of the leads have grown cold and witnesses memories tend to fade, advances in evidence processing have helped tremendously in the continued investigation of these crimes. The use of DNA testing on our old cases has resulted in arrests for crimes committed decades ago and has also eliminated many possible suspects.

While physical evidence is an important tool in the solving of all types of crimes, we still believe that there are people in and around the community that may have information critical to the resolution of some of these old cases. We want to talk to you! Your information could be the key piece of information we are waiting for.

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Monterey Police Department
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Peninsula Cold Case Project

In 2001, Michael Adams was convicted by jury of murdering Sylvia Edgren during a 1981 sexual assault/homicide that took place in Monterey.The crime had been unsolved for almost two decades when Monterey detectives continued to investigate the case.Using (at the time) new DNA technology and poring over old files and evidence, a ‘cold DNA hit’ was found that linked Adams directly to the crime scene.  At the time, this was the oldest ‘cold hit’ in California.Further old fashion detective work identified Adams as having contacted Edgren prior to the murder, but also eliminated any innocent reason for his DNA to be at the crime scene.

Michael Adams’ arrest and subsequent conviction outline the commitment of the Monterey Police Department to continue to investigate cold case homicides.

Peninsula Cold Case Project
Since 2005, the Monterey Police Department has hosted the “Peninsula Cold Case Project” (PCCP).The PCCP is a regional effort by local law enforcement agencies to come together and present cold cases to a group of detectives from multiple agencies.The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Justice have also been partners in the Project, as has the Peninsula Regional Violence and Narcotics Team (PRVNT). The goal of the PCCP is to use the group’s regional and collaborative experience and training to breathe new life into the cold cases presented.

Examples of cases that have been closed with this regional investigative effort include the following:

  • On April 28, 1997, fifteen year old Michael Butler was gunned down in a shooting on Flores Street in Seaside. The shooting was related to an on-going feud between rival gang factions in the mid 1990’s. This was one of the first cold cases presented to the PCCP in 2005.The renewed joint investigation resulted in the arrest and conviction of two rival gang members for this drive-by shooting.
  • On the evening of June 6, 1998, thirteen year old Christina Williams was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered on the old Fort Ord military base after taking her dog for a walk.Her body was found exactly 7 months after her disappearance in a wooded area not far from her home. The case went cold for almost 19 years when it was presented to the PCCP.A team of investigators from PRVNT, the DA’s Office and the FBI pored over the physical evidence and the initial investigation. In February of 2017, A DNA hit was made on Charles Allen Holifield.Holifield, a known sexual predator, was subsequently charged with the sexual assault and murder.This case was one of the highest profile unsolved cases on the Central Coast.
  • The February, 2010 murder of Juan Guillen in the city of Marina had been unsolved for six years. Guillen was stabbed over 100 times by Seaside Norteno gang member Fernando “Sharky” Ojeda after an argument at a party.After an extensive investigation, an arrest warrant has been issued for Ojeda, charging homicide with a weapon enhancement.Ojeda is believed to have fled to Mexico a short time after the murder and is still wanted on the outstanding warrant.
  • On January 7, 2014, Solomon Sandoval-Perez was robbed and shot to death at the front door of his motel room in the city of Seaside during the early morning hours. His case went cold for over eighteen months when the regional team was able to develop enough evidence to arrest Andre Tyrone Johnson for the robbery and murder. Johnson, who was serving time in prison for multiple street robberies committed in San Jose, was subsequently convicted by jury of this homicide/robbery.

All contacts in reference to the unsolved cases will be handled confidentially, but we do want to speak with you. The following links contain some of the unsolved homicides in the City of Monterey. Our department as well as the surviving members of these crimes, the victims family and friends, hope that if you have information on any of these cases, you will contact our Investigations Division at the locations provided in the cases.

Current Unsolved Homicides, 1967 to 1983

HarrisIf you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or by email.

Rhoda Harris was 61 years old when her body was found in her home on November 29, 1967. Rhoda lived alone in a small house on Oxner Street in Monterey. Her body was discovered by her adult daughter, who had been unable to reach Rhoda by phone.

Based on the crime scene, it appeared that Rhoda may have been killed a day or two prior to her body being discovered. Rhoda’s car was also stolen at the time of her murder and found abandoned in the city of Marina on 11/30/67. No suspects were identified in the initial investigation.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or by email.

While walking in the area of Montecito and Casa Verde Streets on September 19, 1971, Theodore Skoll was accosted and robbed by several males. As a result of the robbery, Theodore died of a heart attack. No suspects were identified during the initial investigation into this crime.

JonesIf you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or by email.

At 6:30 am on the morning of January 12, 1974, three newspaper boys discovered the body of Patricia Jones lying in the alleyway of Bruce Lane, near the old Kirby Appliance Store (no longer in existence). Patricia had been shot to death. Detectives were unable to determine if Patricia had been killed at the location she was found, or if her body had been left at this location after the murder.

Patricia was visiting the Monterey area from her home in San Mateo, having arrived in Monterey by bus the previous day. Patricia had tried to rent a car at the Monterey Airport at 9:50 pm on 1/11/74, but was unsuccessful. Her whereabouts from that point on are not currently known. At the time of her murder, Patricia had been involved in occasionally working as an escort.

Patricia’s murder is believed to have taken place sometime between 9:50 pm on 1/11/74 and 2:12 am on 1/12/74.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or by email.

On September 30, 1974, Peter Garcia was in his apartment in the 500 block of Scott Street in Monterey when he was murdered by an unknown assailant. No witnesses or motives for the assault were identified during the initial investigation. Garcia later died as a result of the traumatic injuries he received during the attack.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or by email.

At the time of his murder on March 11, 1976, Michael Bellemur was working as the manager of a local motel on Tenth Street in Monterey. Michael was shot and killed during an attempted robbery of the motel’s office. Several suspects, involved in multiple other robberies during this same time period, were identified during the initial investigation. No charges were filed, and this case has been actively reviewed and investigated since that time.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or by email.

On 12/28/79, Ala’a Alroomi was visiting a friend’s apartment at 500 Glenwood Circle. In what detectives would later believe to be a case of mistaken identity, Ala’a was shot and killed by a suspect that fired through the living room window. Ala’a was a foreign exchange student from Saudi Arabia at the time of his death, and had no known enemies.

A suspect that was involved in a love-triangle with the apartment’s actual tenant was quickly identified, but at the time of the shooting there was insufficient evidence to file charges against him.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or by email.

During the evening of July 14, 1981, Hreta was exiting a vehicle that had just parked at an apartment complex in the 700 block of Casanova in Monterey. As Hreta walked away from the car, she was assaulted by an unknown male. She later died of her injuries.

Hreta was 63 years old when she was killed. She had no known enemies and it was thought that her attacker was possible attempting to rob her, but was scared away by the driver of the car Hreta had been in.

ChavezIf you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or by email.

Sheila Chavez was 18 years old at the time of her death. She was last seen by a friend in Carmel Valley on 8/10/82 waiting for a bus. On 9/18/82 her body was found at the bottom of a ravine, to the rear of the Monterey Public Library. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma and asphyxiation. Although a male adult admitted to being with the victim sometime before her death, no positive suspects have been identified. Prior to her death, Chavez frequented the downtown area of Monterey. There may have been someone who knew Sheila around the time of her death who has information on her friends and associates at the time.

Current Unsolved Homicides,1984 and later

J MorrisIf you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or by email.

Jennifer Morris was reported missing by her family on January 24, 1983. Jennifer had been shopping at the Del Monte Shopping Center. Her car was found in the shopping center parking lot the next day, but no sign of Jennifer was found. She had simply vanished.

In 2011, her remains were found buried in the woods east of the shopping center. Based on the evidence, it was determined that Jennifer had been the victim of a homicide. Jennifer was twenty years old at the time of her murder.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division (831) 646-3814 or email.

On Sunday Morning 3/4/84, the body of Jerry James was found in the kitchen of his home in the 1200 block of Third street in Monterey. James' roommate, Ronald Carpenter had discovered the body and called police. James was found nude and was the victim of a beating with a blunt object.

The subsequent investigation by the Monterey Police detectives identified a potential suspect who was arrested within 3 days of the incident. This person was later released due to a lack of evidence. Both James and the suspect frequented the North Fremont area of Monterey including the Nu-Art adult bookstore on N. Fremont.

It is believed that James knew his killer and may have allowed the suspect into his home.

Fifty-seven year old Norman Friddle lived in the 200 block of Montecito at the time of his murder. Norman answered a knock at his front door on the evening of July 13, 1984 and was immediately assaulted. Detectives at the time believed the attack was an attempted robbery. Norman subsequently died of his injuries and was unable to provide any information on his attacker.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or email.

FoxDuring the afternoon of August 5, 1984 Timothy Weiner reported his fiancé, Diane Fox, missing from their home in the 600 block of Airport. Weiner told police he had last seen Diane around 2a.m. when she left the home in a borrowed car to go to the 7-11 store down the street.

Fox never returned home. After locating the car parked two blocks away, Weiner notified police Diane was missing at 4pm. Grocery bags in the car and 7-11 employees later confirmed Diane had been at the store around 2am that morning.

On August 7, 1984 Diane Fox's body was found on Lapis Road near Marina. Her body had been "dumped" after she was killed at an unknown location. The cause of death was stabbing with other blunt force injuries after a violent struggle.

No arrests were made in the initial investigation, and DNA examination of the evidence is ongoing.

If you have information on Diane Fox or Timothy Weiner, we would like to speak with you.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or email.

DealvisOn the afternoon of 8/16/84 the body of Francis DeAlvis was found in his apartment in the 800 block of Hawthorne street. DeAlvis was fatally stabbed and the apartment ransacked. At least one item was believed to be stolen from the apartment.

DeAlvis was last seen alive by family members several days before the body was found. He was a Jr. High School teacher in the Prunedale area at the time of death.

No viable suspects were identified during the initial investigation. It is believed that DeAlvis knew his killer and that he allowed the suspect into the apartment.

Prior to his death, DeAlvis was found to frequent the Old Eros theater on Franklin street (which has since closed) as well as the Nu-Art adult bookstore on N. Fremont Street.

If you have information on the murder of DeAlvis, please contact us at the above number.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or email.

briggsDuring the early 1990's, the Monterey recreation trail on Cannery Row was a popular area for teenagers and young adults to congregate.

Around 10:40 pm on June first 1991, a fight broke out on the recreation trail near the Edgewater Packing Company. A crowd of about 30 people, mostly teenagers and young adults, were in the general area.

During the fight someone pulled out a small caliber handgun and fired into the crowd hitting two 21year old males.

One of the victims was shot in the leg. The second victim, Stephen Briggs, was shot in the chest. Briggs died in the hospital as a result of the shooting.

Although several possible suspects were identified in the initial investigation, we are still looking for people who were at the scene of the shooting that did not come forward or were never identified. Even if you believe your information is not relevant, if you were there we would like to speak with you.

We would also like to talk with you if you have information on the person(s) responsible for shooting Stephen Briggs.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or email.

MillsDurward Mills was the victim of a robbery while working at the Cork-n-Bottle liquor store at 2210 North Fremont Street. On May 29, 1992 around 5:11 PM, Monterey officers were dispatched to the liquor store where a witness found the 66 year old Durward Mills lying behind the counter.

Mills had been stabbed by an unknown suspect and was transported to Community Hospital. The cash register had been emptied. Mills died the next day from his injuries. Witness statements from in and around the store at the time of the robbery helped create the composite image of the suspect shown at the top. The suspect's name is possibly "Levi", who was possibly homeless at the time of the crime.

If you have any information on the murder of Durward Mills or the suspect possibly named "Levi", please contact the Monterey Police Department at the above number.

If you have any information about the below case please contact: Investigations Division at (831) 646-3814 or email.

FinneganOn April 8, 1995 James Finnegan was shot to death in the vacant lot adjacent to Tire Town and Ralph's grocery store in the 2400 block of North Fremont (the old Cypress bowl parking lot).

Finnegan was driving in his vehicle when he got into a verbal argument with several males in another car. The altercation continued as both vehicles drove into the vacant lot, where Finnegan was ultimately shot.

Although three of the suspects involved in this initial altercation were identified and contacted in 1995, no arrests have yet been made for Finnegan's murder.

If you have any information about the shooting death of James Finnegan, please contact the Monterey Police Department at the above number.