SONOMA (CBS SF) — The battered body of Michelle Marie Veal was discovered on a rural Sonoma County road in 1996, now DNA evidence has helped identify the man responsible, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department.

Cold Case detectives have announced that using the latest advances in DNA technology has linked Jack Alexander Bokin to the murder. Bokin was incarcerated at the California Department of Corrections Medical Facility in Vacaville for a violent kidnapping in San Francisco when he died on December 4, 2021.

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And it may be related to other cold cases.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Valencia confirmed to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that cold case investigators are looking into whether Bokin could be linked to the murders of at least seven youths. women and girls in Sonoma County between 1972 and 1979.

Those victims could include then-12-year-old Herbert Slater High School student Maureen Sterling and then-13-year-old Yvonne Weber, who were dropped off at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena. Their skeletal remains were discovered in December 1972 on Franz Valley Road.

Veal’s body was found on the side of the road by a team of investigators working in the Stony Point Road area north of West Railroad Avenue in unincorporated Sonoma County.

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The autopsy showed that she suffered multiple skull fractures and a fractured neck, consistent with blunt head trauma. At the time of the murder, evidence was collected.

But all leads were exhausted and despite the detectives’ best efforts, the investigation fizzled out.

In April 2021, detectives again submitted evidence for review to the Serological Research Institute for biological testing. On January 18, 2022, the Department of Justice notified detectives of a “CODIS Hit” due to DNA evidence submitted to the lab.

The SERI lab had developed a DNA profile from the evidence that had been submitted. A DNA match came back to that of Bokin, who died in prison.

In October 1997, the San Francisco Police Department arrested Bokin for kidnapping, kidnapping with intent to commit rape, rape of a victim unable to consent, attempted murder, and other crimes. He was convicted and sentenced to 231 years in prison.

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“We know that every cold case represents long overdue answers for the family and friends of victims,” ​​the department said in a Facebook post. “Thanks to the hard work of our detectives and law enforcement partners, we are now able to bring closure and healing to the family of Michelle Marie Veal.”

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