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Arrest made in 1973 Southern California cold case

TUCSON — There are new developments in a 1973 Southern California cold case.

Authorities have arrested the man suspected of killing 11-year-old Linda O’Keefe.

Police say they matched genealogical DNA to the suspected killer, who’s now in his 70s.

“I never really thought this day would come,” Linda’s sister Cindy Borgeson said. “I really pretty much thought, maybe.”

Borgeson now lives in Tucson with her husband.

In July 1973, Linda was abducted and murdered near her family’s home in Newport Beach, California.

Borgeson remembers her sister did not come home from summer school on that Friday afternoon.

“We had dinner and then my dad and I went looking for her,” Borgeson said. “The family finally called the police.”

Linda’s body was found in the Back Bay strangled to death the next morning.

Forty-six years later, with the help of DNA evidence, detectives linked 72-year-old James Alan Neal to the crime.

On Tuesday, police picked up Neal in Colorado Springs, Colorado about an hour south of Denver.

He’s now awaiting extradition to California.

“This is the additional closure for me that’s there’s a person they’ve arrested but I forgave the individual a long time ago because unforgiving to me is like taking poison and wanting the other person to die,” Borgeson said. “He’s not a monster to me. He’s a man who made a bad decision that affected my family and I believe in justice and that’s not up to me to decide what that looks like.”

WPTA Staff

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