A Florida man was charged Monday with killing a 40-year-old man and raping a woman inside a Los Angeles motel more than 35 years ago. 66-year-old Manuel Fraga-Madan was arrested on Friday thanks to DNA evidence and charged with murder with special circumstances that include rape, burglary, robbery, rape, lying in wait and torture, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.
Fraga-Madan could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to reports.
Prosecutors claim that on July 12, 1984, Fraga-Madan and an unidentified man forcefully entered the Vermont Motel in the Lennox area where 40-year-old Johnny Williams and others were staying.
The men, while waiting for Williams to return, allegedly raped a 23-year-old woman at gunpoint in front of her one-year-old child.
“When Williams returned to the room, the two men demanded money and drugs from him,” the DA’s office said in a news release. “When Williams said he had neither, he was shot and killed, and the two men fled.”
The woman was hiding in the bathroom when Williams was shot, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
The rape and murder remained unsolved for years until 2018 when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office’s cold-case unit took over the investigation. Detectives with the unit focused on forensic evidence collected from the motel room three decades ago, using DNA technology that wasn’t available at the time, Sheriff’s Detective Joseph Purcell told the Los Angeles Times.
The DNA from the room, consisting of semen found on the mattress, matched with Fraga-Madan’s DNA, which was being stored in a database due to his criminal history in California and Florida, authorities said.
Officials are yet to find the second man involved in the case as well as the child of the woman who was raped.
As of Monday, Fraga-Madan was still in custody in Miami and was awaiting extradition to California, according to records.
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