SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) – More than 25 years after Gloria Hassemer was found dead in Santa Cruz County, authorities have announced an arrest in her killing this week.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said 63-year-old John Laroche was arrested near his home in Turlock with the help of Turlock Police around 10 a.m. Thursday. He was taken into custody without incident.

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Deputies said Laroche was arrested after forensic evidence linked him to Hassemer’s death.

Gloria Hassemer. (Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office)

Gloria Hassemer. (Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office)

Hassemer’s body was found along the Pajaro River levee near the Highway 1 overpass on June 10, 1995. Deputies said Hassemer was last seen early that morning walking on Water Street near Ocean Street in Santa Cruz and may have hitched a ride to Watsonville, where she was found.

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“This murder shook our community back in 1995, and our detectives have been committed to making an arrest since,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said in a statement. “We’ve seen the heartbreak it’s brought to Gloria’s loved ones and we are proud to be taking this step towards justice.”

Hassemer’s family released a statement, which said in part, “There have been many detectives and others who’ve worked tirelessly and fought hard to help our family receive justice. Over the past 25 years they’ve never given up; some have even volunteered their time. We are thankful for their commitment to see that our mother’s case was reopened and able to bring us closer to justice after the arrest made yesterday.”

John Laroche is accused in the 1995 Santa Cruz County killing of Gloria Hassemer. (Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office)

John Laroche is accused in the 1995 Santa Cruz County killing of Gloria Hassemer. (Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office)

According to jail records, Laroche is being held in the Santa Cruz County Jail without bail on charges of first degree murder, battery with serious bodily injury and violation of parole. It was not immediately known when Laroche would appear in court on the charges.

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Deputies said Laroche has connections to Santa Clara County and the Central Valley and there could be additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office at 831-454-7635.