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Huntington Beach police use Facebook in hopes of solving 1968 slaying

January 4, 2011 |  8:09 pm

Jane Doe in 1968 The woman's body was found more than 42 years ago in a dirt field in Huntington Beach, her throat slashed with a sharp instrument. She had been beaten and sexually assaulted, police said.

On Tuesday, the Huntington Beach Police Department released photos on its Facebook page that may be linked to the slaying in an effort to drum up leads in the case. The photos were found in a purse about a quarter-mile from the crime scene, police said, and had not been previously released.

"If we can figure out who she was, we can find out what she was doing that day ... and maybe find out who that suspect is," Lt. Russell Reinhart told The Times.

Dubbed "Jane Doe," the woman was found March 14, 1968, in the field near Newland Street and Yorktown Avenue. She was white or Latina, 20 to 25 years old, and about 5 feet 4 inches tall with dark, shoulder-length hair and brown eyes, police said.

At the time, detectives thought the woman was picked up from another area and left at the scene, police said. Several tire tracks were found near her body. Jane Doe Photo 4

About half an hour after the body was found, two boys playing in an oil field near Huntington Street and Utica Avenue found a white purse with a matching wallet. Inside were six black-and-white wallet-sized photos, including one of a young boy with a cowboy hat, who was crying.

Detectives have worked on the case over the years. Investigators developed a "DNA hit" on a male suspect but have been unable to identify that person, Reinhart said.

He said detectives are hoping that the photos lead them one step closer to solving the crime.

"If nothing else," Reinhart said, "maybe we can get some closure to the family."

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Mike Reilly at (714) 536-5940. 


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-- Robert J. Lopez

Photos: Composite of Jane Doe and one of the photos found in a purse near the scene. Credit: Huntington Beach Police Department