Man Already in Prison for Murder Appears in Court for 1988 Homicide of 9-Year-Old Girl Snatched from Scooter

David Misch appeared in court Tuesday in connection to 9-year-old Michaela Carecht’s disappearance and murder 32 years ago.
David Misch appeared in court Tuesday in connection to 9-year-old Michaela Carecht’s disappearance and murder 32 years ago, Hayward Police Department/Alameda County Sheriff

The family of a 9-year-old girl snatched from a California market in 1988 is finally getting some answers after an incarcerated 59-year-old, currently in prison for an unrelated murder conviction, was charged in her kidnapping and killing. David Misch appeared in court Tuesday in connection to 9-year-old Michaela Garecht’s disappearance and murder 32 years ago.

Misch, who has been imprisoned in a California state prison since 1990, did not enter a plea at his virtual arraignment, and will appear in court again on Jan. 22., KTVU reported.

In addition to murder, he faces a charge of special circumstances murder since his alleged victim was killed in a kidnapping, and another allegation of special circumstances considering he has previously been convicted of murder, according to a statement from the Alameda County District Attorney.

“I hope that today’s action and announcement will provide some comfort to Michaela’s family in knowing that justice will prevail, even after 32 years since this horrible crime,” District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in the statement.

It was a Saturday morning before Thanksgiving Day in 1988 when young Michaela disappeared, according to officials.

She and a friend wanted to buy snacks so they rode their scooters to a neighborhood market in Hayward, a suburb of San Francisco, officials said. When they came out of the shop, they noticed one of the scooters had been moved, and Michaela left her friend briefly to fetch the scooter, according to a statement.

That’s when the driver of a car parked in a nearby space grabbed her and forced her into the front seat of the car, officials said. The scooter was left behind, but authorities were never able to recover Michaela’s body, according to the DA’s office.

“The kidnap and murder of a child is horrific,” O’Malley said. “The pain to the family and friends is indescribable, especially when their child is not found. This crime shocked not just the local community, but the entire Bay Area and the nation.”

Misch had been originally identified as a person of interest, and the fingerprint examiner was able to match his fingerprints with the ones left on the scooter, the DA’s office said.

Michaela’s mother, Sharon Murch, who now lives in Iowa, said she’s relieved to finally have answers. “It’s not about me. It’s never been about me, about my feelings. It is and always has been about Michaela. What I have been through is nothing. What I feel is not important. It is only about Michaela,” Murch said in a statement, according to SF Gate.

Michaela’s suspected murder marks the fourth Misch has been accused of.

According to authorities, he is currently faces charges from 2018 for the cold case killing of best friends 18-year-old Michelle Xavier and 20-year-old Jennifer Ann Duey of Fremont, who were leaving a birthday party in 1986 when they were found stabbed and shot by a passing motorcyclist, SF Gate reported.

Misch will appear in court for his pre-trial hearing in February 2021 in connection with the 2018 charges. He has previously pled not guilty in connection with these charges, according to court documents.

He is currently serving a sentence for a 1989 murder of another woman in the Hayward area. He has repeatedly been denied parole, SF Gate reported.

Misch’s listed attorney has not responded Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment.

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