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32 years later, man arrested in Santa Monica slaying

A Pennsylvania man has been arrested in connection with the slaying of a 16-year-old during a 1980 home-invasion robbery in Santa Monica, police announced Thursday.

Authorities from Santa Monica and Shaler Township, Pa., arrested Patrick David Salmon, 53, on May 17 at his home in the small town outside of Pittsburgh, following a nearly two-year investigation that led detectives across the country.

Police say they have evidence linking Salmon to the fatal shooting of Joaquin Mansion,  who was killed during a home-invasion robbery on Marine Street more than 32 years ago.

The case had gone cold for nearly three decades before police were able to renew their investigation, though there were few details on what provided the break.

In a statement, Santa Monica police said that the case was not solved using DNA evidence, through officials acknowledged that “substantial improvements in electronic law enforcement and open source databases since 1980 provided valuable leads.”

Using those leads, police say detectives traveled to Illinois, South Dakota and Pennsylvania before eventually landing in Shaler Township in search of Salmon.

Authorities said they arrived in the suburb two weeks ago and located “evidence identifying Salmon as the gunman.” Two juvenile co-conspirators were convicted in the robbery and homicide in the months following the 1980 murder, but the gunman was never identified.

Salmon is currently being held in the Allegheny County Jail awaiting extradition, according to the statement.


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-- Matt Stevens


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