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.