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DNA From Recent Sex Assault Links Suspect, 76, To 1980, 1996 Unsolved Murders, Authorities Claim

Source: Solano County Sheriff’s Office; UNSPLASH

Jul. 22 2022, Published 1:01 p.m. ET

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An elderly California man is accused of two cold case murders after forensic evidence from a sexual assault last year allegedly connected him with the crimes, authorities said.

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In 2021, James Gary, of Fairfield, allegedly committed a sex crime in the North Bay, and DNA from the incident matched to forensic evidence collected in the unsolved 1980 and 1996 murders, police said, KOVR reported.

Detectives were able to collect a DNA sample from the 76-year-old suspect after he was stopped for suspicion of drunk driving.

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“The spout from the breathalyzer essentially was collected and sent into DOJ, and ultimately that was our main piece that was able to connect them,” Solano County Sheriff Lt. Jackson Harris said.

Gary was not charged with DUI.

Law enforcement officials alleged Gary, a retired carpenter who recently became a widow, fatally strangled Latrelle Lindsay in 1980 in Union City and then strangled Winifred Douglas to death 16 years later, in 1996, in Vallejo.

“I’ll just say that it takes a very unique individual that would be doing these crimes even to this age and this day,” Harris said of Gary and the alleged sex crime incident.


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