It took about 40 years to bring him to justice for the brutal slaying of a 15-year-old girl in 1982.

Arrested in Hawaii was Gary Ramirez, accused of killing 15-year-old Karen Stitt. The body of the victim was discovered by a truck driver at the time, naked and brutally injured and hidden in the bushes behind a blood-riddled cinderblock wall, CNN reported.

Per reports, Stitt went out in the early evening of Sept. 2, 1982, to see her boyfriend via bus to Sunnyvale. At around midnight, her boyfriend walked her towards part of the route to the bus stop, afraid that his parents would punish him because he was out past curfew according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

It was the last time that the boy had seen his 15-year-old girlfriend alive.

"Behind every old murder file in every major police department, there is a person, heartbreak, and a mystery," District Attorney Jeff Rosen stated. "The mystery of Karen Stitt’s death has been solved thanks to advances in forensic science and a detective that would never, ever give up."

It was only on Aug. 2 that Ramirez had been finally arrested, 40 years after that murder. He was apprehended at his Makawao home on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

According to police, Stitt was sexually assaulted and stabbed about 59 times. In the autopsy conducted on the girl, it was found that she died of stab wounds to the chest and neck.

However, the killer was allegedly sloppy and left his bodily fluid and blood at the scene where Stitt was found.

"A review of the crime scene photos and videos showed that leaves and dirt around her feet had been disturbed and kicked, suggesting that she was still alive when her body was left there," court records read.

Initially, it was the boyfriend of Stitt who was the main suspect in the case. However, all that was cleared thanks to DNA evidence.

It was only in 2019 when the case got going once more. This was after Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Det. Matt Hutchinson received a tip that led him to one of four brothers from Fresno, California.

They closed in on Ramirez in April 2022 where his blood and bodily fluid matched those found at the scene of the crime.

Judge's Gavel
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