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Public Safety

Carlsbad Police Announce Arrest In 33-Year-Old Murder Case

A Carlsbad police car is pictured in this undated photo.
A Carlsbad police car is pictured in this undated photo.

Police Friday announced the arrest of a 54-year-old Poway man on suspicion of killing a young woman in Carlsbad 33 years ago.

James Charles Kingery was arrested Wednesday in connection with the sexual assault and murder of 26-year-old Julia Hernandez-Santiago, whose body was found on Oct. 10, 1987, on an ivy-covered embankment in the 2100 block of Alga Road, west of Alicante Road, Carlsbad police spokesman Jodee Reyes said.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation.


"Investigators were able to recover several pieces of key evidence at the time; however, a suspect was never identified," Reyes said.

Over the next three decades, detectives continued to follow leads and technology eventually helped reveal new investigative angles to probe.

Last March, San Diego County sheriff's deputies arrested a man on narcotics and weapons violations and took a DNA sample from him, as required by law based on his alleged offenses, Reyes said. Last May, the sheriff's crime lab notified Carlsbad police that the DNA samples from the 1987 murder case were a match for Kingery.

Kingery was booked into the San Diego Central jail around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of murder, according to jail records. He was being held without bail pending his arraignment, scheduled for July 31.

A motive for the killing has not been disclosed.

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