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Arrest made in more than four decade old double murder cold case in Ventura County

Photo by Tim Hufner
There's been an arrest in a pair of 1981 cold case murders in Ventura County.

Man from Oxnard suspected in two 1981 killings.

There’s been an arrest in a more than four decade old cold case in Ventura County, involving the brutal rapes and murder of two women.

In January of 1981, Rachel Zendejas was abducted, sexually assaulted, and murdered in Camarillo. She left behind two young daughters. Then, in December of 1981, the same thing happened to Lisa Gondek, who was found dead in her Oxnard apartment.

Two different agencies were handling the cases, so at first no one realized they were connected. But, detectives discovered that both women were last seen at a nightclub off of Highway 101, in Oxnard.

Oxnard Police and Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives say they’ve arrested a 68-year-old Oxnard man in connection with the killing. There’s no word on what led to the arrest in the cold case.

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is holding a news conference Thursday, with officials expected to announce the specific charges the man will face.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.