Cold Case Murder Still Haunts Ex-Detective

SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) – It’s been more than 40 years since Deborah Jean Cargill’s body was found in the San Lorenzo River, but retired detective Ron Truhitte still gets emotional when he talks about the cold case.

He thinks about his own children and then about the how Cargill’s parents must feel.

“You know I’m a parent and to go for 41 years and not know what happened to my daughter or my son that would be hard, hard to do,” he said.

To help try to solve the case, the Santa Cruz Police Department has launched a webpage dedicated to its cold case murders.

Cargill’s is among the seven cold case murders listed including the 1988 murder of Michael Bebek, the 2003 slaying of Derek Kyle Snell and the 2005 killing of Daniel Alfredo Marquez.

Truhitte – who nows works as a civilian detective with the Santa Cruz police — said you never forget a case like Cargill’s.

“We don’t forget,” he said. “The family remembers and the cops remember … And I want to close a few things for some people.”

Cargill was a 19-year-old from Campbell at the time of her death. Investigators said at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 21, 1975 she was parking her vehicle in the parking lot where she worked — the Albertsons grocery store located at Highway 9 and Bollinger in San Jose — when she was contacted and led away by a male suspect.

Her body was found the next day in the San Lorenzo River near the train trestle and the beach within the Santa Cruz city limits.

“So having somebody give us a name, a location, something — we may be able to start putting things back together,” he said. “Somebody knows something. Over 41 years – somebody knows something.”

If you have information about this case, please call Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations at (831) 420-5820 or the Santa Cruz Police Department Tip Line at (831) 420-5995

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