Kenneth Rasmuson, a sex offender from Idaho, has been arrested for his alleged connection to the strangulation death of Jeffrey Vargo, a 6-year-old boy, in 1981. CBS News Los Angeles is reporting that 53-year-old Kenneth Rasmuson’s DNA was a match to evidence taken in the 1981 cold case.
In 1981, Jeffrey David Vargo had gone missing after visiting a fireworks stand in Anaheim, not far away from his home. When he failed to come home, his worried parents looked for the boy, and later found his bicycle nearby. The missing boy’s body was found the next day by construction workers 20 miles away in Pomona.
An autopsy report concluded that the boy had been strangled. There were few clues and no suspects in the case, leading the case to go unsolved for more than 30 years.
The case bothered detectives and Jeffrey Vargo’s parents. They never gave up looking for the killer. For many years, at least one detective was sure that the killer was a man named James Lee Crummel, a child molester who was convicted of killing a 13-year old boy from Costa Mesa in 1979. Crummel committed suicide while on death row in 2012.
Today, law enforcement officials in Pomona say that Kenneth Rasmuson is their man. He is currently being held at a local county jail but faces extradition back to Pomona to face murder charges in the decades-old case, according to KTLA-5.
The case is similar to the Jason Lea death case of 1989. That year, Lea, a 9-year-old boy vanished after attending an arcade. Witnesses told police that the boy was seen with several teenagers. His bike was found at the video arcade with no signs of Jason. His decomposed body was found almost a week later at the bottom of a cliff. An autopsy report confirmed that the boy had been beaten in the chest.
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