PENINSULA -- More than a quarter-century after her body was found in a ravine, police believe they have Sheila Lorraine Hatcher's killer in custody.
Sheriff's deputies arrested Brisbane resident Gabriel Rey O'Neill, 45, at about 3:45 p.m. Monday on suspicion of killing Hatcher and dumping her body on San Bruno Mountain. The investigation into her death was reopened last year at the request of her family.
The Daly City mother of three was last seen in the North Beach area of San Francisco about 1:30 a.m. March 12, 1989 and her partially-clothed body was found by two hikers that afternoon in a ravine at Guadalupe Canyon Parkway and Carter Street.
The 27-year-old woman had been sexually assaulted, robbed of her jewelry and dealt a fatal blow with a blunt object. Authorities were unable to tie any possible suspects to her death in 1989.
In 2013, San Mateo County sheriff's authorities, forensics experts and the county coroner worked to re-examine photos, reports, case files and physical evidence for any leads that may yield a potential suspect. During the re-examination, authorities say an investigator discovered a piece of evidence linking O'Neill, a registered sex offender, to Hatcher's killing.
According to Rosenblatt, O'Neill was not part of the original investigation at any point in 1989. Investigators did not become aware ofO'Neill, who was 20 years old at the time, until the link was made in 2013.
O'Neill was arrested Monday while driving in the 3000 block of Bayshore Boulevard in Brisbane, Rosenblatt said. He remains in custody without bail on one count of first-degree murder.
Anyone with information about the cold case is asked to contact Detective Andy Armando at 650-363-4347 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Detective Jon Sebring at 650-363-4057 email@example.com. Though an arrest has been made, the investigation is still ongoing.