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News Updates

Suspect arrested for the 33-year-old Murder of Julia Hernandez-Santiago

The City of Carlsbad Police Department announced today that they have arrested a suspect believed to be responsible for the 33-year-old murder of Julia Hernandez-Santiago.

On July 22, officers arrested 54-year-old James Charles Kingery of Poway, for the 1987 murder of Julia Hernandez-Santiago.

On Oct. 10, 1987, 26-year-old Julia Hernandez-Santiago’s lifeless body was found on an ivy-covered embankment in the 2100 block of Alga Road in Carlsbad. The initial investigation revealed Santiago had been sexually assaulted and murdered. The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation. Investigators were able to recover several pieces of key evidence at the time; however, a suspect was never identified.

Throughout the 33 years, Carlsbad Police Department investigators continued to follow leads and the evidence available to them. As technology advanced, investigators used this progress to develop new leads in the case.

In March of 2020, deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in Poway, arrested a male for narcotics and weapons violations and, as the law required based on his offense, the male submitted a DNA sample.

In May of 2020, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Crime Lab notified the Carlsbad Police Department that the DNA samples from the 1987 case were a match to those of Kingery.

With this information, detectives diligently followed new leads, cross-checked the information and worked with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office to identify Kingery as a suspect in the 1987 murder of Ms. Santiago.

Kingery was booked into the San Diego Central Jail for Murder with no bail. His next scheduled court date is July 31, 2020.

The Carlsbad Police Department would like to thank all those that assisted in this 33-year investigation. This includes, but is not limited to, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Crime Lab.

The investigation is ongoing and no additional information will be released at this time.

For more information:
Lieutenant Kevin Lehan, 760-931-2166 or kevin.lehan@carlsbadca.gov

Police media contact:
Jodee Reyes, Public Information Officer, 760-931-2105 or jodee.reyes@carlabadca.gov

July 24, 2020