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72-year-old Colorado child murder suspect James Neal, who was arrested for cold case 1973 rape, murder of girl, 11, linked to two other child sex assaults and; There could be more victims – prosecutors

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James Neal was arrested in Feb after genealogical DNA linked him to the 46-year-old murder coldcase from in Newport Beach, California
The 72-year-old Colorado resident, was arrested 1973 rape and murder of 11-year-old Linda O’Keefe
Neal has now been linked to two other child sex assaults in Riverside County,  and prosecutors say there could be more victims
At the time of Linda O’Keefe’s death, Neal was known as James Alan George Layton, he later relocated to Florida and changed his name
The identity switch helped the pedophile killer to evade justice for nearly half a century
On March 13, prosecutors added five charges of child sex abuse, relating to two different victims between 1995 and 2004 
Orange County district Attorney James Spitzer said his officers are ‘absolutely’ actively searching for links to other possible victims of Neal
Linda was last seen walking home from school on July 5, 1973. Her lifeless body was found strangled in a grassy ditch the following day
Her case remained cold for four and half decades until Neal was apprehended in Colorado last month
Faces a maximum sentence of 82 years if convicted, –  investigators determined the death penalty wouldn’t be legally justified
  Child rape, murder suspect James Neal has been linked to more sex offenses against children after his alleged rape and murder of Linda O’Keefe in 1973

James Alan Neal of Colorado was arrested in February after DNA evidence linked him to the murder of an 11-year-old schoolgirl, in 1973. On Wednesday prosecutors added five charges of child sex abuse, relating to two other alleged victims and prosecutors say they’re ‘absolutely’ looking for other potential victims.
72-year-old Neal was eventually identified in January in the  slaying of Linda O’Keefe, 11, who disappeared from Newport beach 46 years ago, after genealogical DNA linked him to the crime.
Related:
James Alan Neal was arrested in the decades-old murder case of 11-year-old California girl Linda Ann O’Keefe in 1973 Police arrested Neal, 72, in Colorado Springs, […]

Neal initially was charged in February with one count of first-degree murder while committing sexual assault upon a child.
On Wednesday, Prosecutors added new charges relating to two other child sexual assault victims in Riverside County, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer revealed.
The additional five charges of sexual assault on a child under 14 have been brought against Neal, after prosecutors say he performed a series of lewd acts on two different children in Riverside County, between 1995 and 2004.

For the next four-and-a-half decades, the case remained unsolved.
On the 45th anniversary of her disappearance, Newport Beach police launched a social media campaign, called ‘#LindasStory‘, hoping to breath new life in the investigation.
And last month they finally got their break, after generating a snapshot profile of the suspect using DNA evidence gathered at the crime scene.
‘Linda’s death rocked the community and took root in the heart of the men and women of their police department,’ said Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis. ‘We never, ever forgot Linda’s story.’

Linda [L-R], was strangled to death police determined. Eye witnesses recalled seeing a turquoise van following her just hours before her body was found

At the time of Linda’s death, Neal was known as James Alan George Layton. He later relocated to Florida and changed his name.
A mother and her daughter who last saw Linda alive as she walked home from summer school, told police at the time they saw a turquoise van parked nearby with its door ajar.
Another woman who lived near Back Bay where O’Keefe’s body was found, said she heard a girl scream ‘Stop, you’re hurting me’, just after 11pm the same day. sketch of the believed suspect was circulated at the time, but it generated no leads.
But in 2018, Newport Beach Police conferred with Parabon NanoLabs, a Virginia-based medical lab who specialize in genealogical DNA.
Using the evidence, Parabon were able to generate two composites – one showing the man in 1973, the other progressing to what he would llook today, calculating their gender, ancestry, freckles, skin tone and hair texture and color.
The only thing they failed to generate was the suspect’s name.
The DNA was religiously checked against convicted felon records to no avail.
However, Neal was eventually identified as a suspect in January after investigators linked the DNA to one listed on a database that scours for DNA profiles for close relatives of crime suspects.

The killer in 1973: The coldcase was broken in July 2018 after police hired a DNA technology company to create composite sketches using  DNA from the crime scene

The age progression photos predicted how the killer would look, 46 years later

For the next month, police tailed Neal in Colorado and secretly gathered more DNA evidence to strengthen their case.
The DNA gathered by authorities matched the sample found back in 1973.
‘Through both traditional DNA and genealogical DNA, we have every opportunity in the world to solve so many of these cold cases that we never had hoped in the past of solving — and that’s a great thing for our community,’ Spitzer said.
Linda’s murder joins a number of cold cases that have been potentially solved through the use of modern DNA technology.
In August, Golden State Killer Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested for a dozen murders and 50 rapes that took place back in the late 70s and 80s, after investigators utilized the online genealogical sites Ancenstry.com and 23andMe.
‘As the Orange County District Attorney, I am committed to protecting the community. My office will never forget about cold cases,’ Spitzer declared.
‘Our hearts go out to the victim and the victim’s family in this case, having to endure decades without answers. We will make sure that the defendant is fairly and justly held accountable in a court of law,’ he added

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