DNA Evidence Leads to Arrest in 32-Year-Old Cold Case Homicide of San Francisco John Doe Baby

A California cold case over three decades old which involved the death of a John Doe baby finally has an arrest thanks to DNA evidence.
Alameda County Police

A three-decade old California cold case, which involved the death of a John Doe baby, finally has an arrest thanks to DNA evidence.

Lesa Lopez, 52, has been charged with killing her newborn baby boy in 1988, whose body was dumped in the bushes outside San Francisco, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department announced Monday. Following her arrest, Lopez told cops she hid the pregnancy from her family and friends, and provided details of what occurred on the day the baby was found dead.

Authorities say she is being held in a Santa Rita jail on a single count of murder after DNA linked her to the case.

The infant’s death remained a mystery until it was reopened last year and authorities used cutting edge DNA evidence to reach an arrest. Last year, after authorities had teamed up with a lab in Oklahoma City to use genealogy sites that allow law enforcement usage and found a possible match.

Nearly a year later, police obtained a warrant for Lopez, who was questioned at the end of July and then arrested Monday in connection to the John Doe death.

The baby was found on a Monday evening in May 1988 after two teenagers were walking in the area and came across the lifeless body which was inside a bag. The teens called police and for 32 years the case has remained cold.


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