California Man Behind Bars 35 Years After He Killed, Raped 26-Year-Old Woman Whose Body He Dumped on Embankment

cold case
Source: Carlsbad Police Department; UNSPLASH

Jun. 10 2023, Published 9:06 a.m. ET

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A man was convicted of first-degree murder and rape almost four decades after a woman was discovered dead in California.

A jury found James Charles Kingery, 57, guilty in Vista Superior Court for the death of 26-year-old Julia Hernandez-Santiago, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

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Hernandez-Santiago’s was strangled to death and her body was found in Carlsbad on an embankment on Oct. 10, 1987.

The case went cold, but Kingery was recently identified as a suspect in the case through DNA evidence collected after the victim was located.


According to police, Kingery was arrested in March 2020 on unrelated suspected felony violations and he submitted his DNA, leading to a break in the murder case.

Kingery is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

He faces up to life behind bars.


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