Sister Speaks After Arrest in 1973 Cold Case: 'I Thought the Day Would Never Come'

Playing Murdered 11-Year-Old’s Sister Gets Justice After Cold Case Cracked: Cops

The sister of 11-year-old Linda O'Keefe, who was murdered 45 years ago, says she is relieved that an arrest has finally been made in the slaying.

"I never ever really thought the day would come," Cindy Borgeson told Inside Edition.

She was 18 when her sister vanished on her way home from school in Newport Beach, California, on July 6, 1973. Linda's body was found the following morning in a nearby nature preserve. 

For decades, the case went unsolved. But earlier this week, investigators using DNA evidence arrested 72-year-old James Neal, a grandfather of 15 and great-great-grandfather of 11.

Neal's family in Colorado Springs, where he was arrested, showed their support for him at his extradition hearing on Thursday. 

He has been charged with murder and could potentially face the death penalty. He has not yet entered a plea.

To renew interest in the case last July, the 45th anniversary of her death, the Newport Beach Police Department narrated her final hours in her own voice on Twitter. One heartbreaking post recalled how a witness heard Linda screaming out.

"A lady in the bluffs above Back Bay hears a female voice outside, screaming 'Stop, you're hurting me,'" the tweet said. "She listens, but hears nothing more. She doesn't know that I'm missing. That I'll be dead by morning. That I'll be found a couple hundred yards from her home."

On the day of the abduction, Borgeson said Linda had called their mom and asked for a ride home from school. But their mom told her she couldn't make it so Linda walked home, and that's when she was abducted.

"How did that affect your mother?" Inside Edition's Diane McInerney asked Borgeson.

"She was filled with guilt and grief for the rest of her life until she passed in 2005," she said.

McInerney asked, "Did your mom blame herself?"

"She did. She thought, you know, 'I should have just gone and gotten her.' But ... it was a time when kids would walk home from school unescorted. Kids were playing out in the streets until it got dark and then you'd come home. It was a different time," Borgeson said.

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