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DNA helps crack 34-year-old homicide case

Posted: March 18, 2010 12:11 p.m.
Updated: March 18, 2010 12:11 p.m.
 
DNA evidence has helped Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide detectives solve the murder of a woman in Castaic after 34 years.

On July 22, 1976, the body of Marcia Lynn Christian, 19, was found partially buried in the hills of the Castaic area, after being kidnapped and murdered.

Christian, a nursing student, had been reported missing by her husband when she failed to return home from a job interview in the San Fernando Valley.

Sheriff's Homicide Bureau detectives identified Mark David Jackson, formerly of Yreka, Calif., as the killer after performing a comparison match of DNA evidence submitted against the CAL-DNA Data Bank.

Investigators determined that Jackson, now deceased, had an extensive criminal history of sexual offenses dating from childhood, and was diagnosed as a mentally disordered sex offender. He had a record of multiple kidnapping, rapes and child molestation charges, as well as firearms violations.

Police reports established that Jackson died on Aug. 15, 1997 at the age of 47, of a narcotics overdose in Klamath Falls, Ore.

Jackson had appeared in a Yreka court four days before his death on charges of willful child cruelty and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

The identification of Jackson marks the oldest Sheriff's Homicide Bureau case to be solved using DNA evidence.

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