Man Arrested in 1994 Cold Case Murder of His Mother: Cops

Arrest in 1994 cold case
John Henry Van Uden III, now 70, is accused of killing his now 76-year-old Frances Marjorie Van Uden. (NBPD)

A California man was arrested this week on charges stemming from the 1994 murder of his own mom.

John Henry Van Uden III of Dana Point was taken into custody without incident as he got off of his boat Wednesday.

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The 70-year-old was later charged with one felony count of murder with a special circumstances enhancement for financial gain in the March 3, 1994 slaying of 76-year-old Frances Marjorie Van Uden.

According to a release from the Orange County District Attorney's Office, officers were called to Ms. Van Uden’s home when concerned neighbors reported they had not seen the victim in two days.

The officers found the victim dead in her living room where she had suffered significant trauma to the back of her skull.

Investigators immediately began a homicide investigation, throughout which Van Uden III was identified as a possible suspect.

Over the course of the next 23 years, detectives say they continued to conduct interviews, follow leads, and collect evidence in this case.

"The case file was reviewed, developed, and expanded by a number of detectives over the years whenever there was a chance to dedicate staff time to this cold case homicide investigation," the Orange County District Attorney's Office said.

The release said that two retired homicide detectives were assigned to the Newport Beach Police Department Crimes Against Persons Unit to assist in investigating cold case homicides with no other case load.

"Over the next year, they continued to build on the strong foundation of evidence against Van Uden III," the release says.

The murder charge was filed in late October, but no additional details of the case leading up to the arrest were released.

"Through decades of old school detective work, this morning we are delivering justice to a son who is charged with ending the life of the very person who gave him life," stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. "We will never forget, give up, or move on from investigations into the cold case homicides of Orange County."

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The arrest came not long after what would have been Marjorie's birthday.

"Last week would have marked Marjorie’s 100th birthday. But we at the Newport Beach Police Department, along with you, have never forgotten what happened in March 1994."