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DNA Evidence Helps Solve Four-Decade-Old Cold Case Murder Linked To Ventura County

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DNA evidence helped solved a four decade old cold case murder which involved Ventura County. On November 23rd, 1972 11 year old Terri Lynn Hollis was riding her bike in her Torrance neighborhood, when she disappeared. A day later, her body was found on a beach near Point Mugu.

The girl had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

In 1974, Torrance Police arrested a man thought to be a suspect, but he was later cleared. Detectives periodically reviewed the case over the decades, but were unable to solve it.

Some evidence collected from the girl’s body was later tested for DNA samples, as the technology was developed. It was a close match to a sample in a genealogical database. It led them to a career criminal who died in Arizona in 2003. The body of Jake Edward Brown was exhumed, and he was positively identified as the killer.

The girl’s brother and sister say they are grateful Torrance Police never gave up, and were finally able to solve the sad mystery.

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.