First Investigative Genetic Genealogy Case Filed in Los Angeles County Involves Burbank Murder in 1986


A 1986 Burbank cold case murder from 1986 may have finally found justice the Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. office announced on Friday.

Mary Duggan, a 22-year-old from Reseda, was found murdered in the trunk of her 1980 Ford Mustang you you near the intersection of Glenoaks and Cohasset on June 9, 1986. Burbank Police Detective Craig Ratliff, pending investigation headed the investigation at the time.

The LA County coroner’s office at the time ruled that she died of asphyxia and also had nonlethal levels of cocaine and alcohol in her bloodstream.

LA County district attorney Jackie Lacey has charged Horace Van Vaultz Junior, 64 with the killing of Duggan, connecting the suspect through genealogy match. The technology also linked the 1981  murder of Selena cloth in Montclair to Van Vaultz.

Because of the multiple counts of murder, the defendant faces is a death penalty or life in prison without the possibly parole if convicted as charged. According to a press release, that determination will be made later.

“Thanks to advances in technology and forensics, we are now able to virtually reach back in time and find those responsible for these vicious crimes,” District Attorney Lacey said in the release. She also added, “With dedicated resources and rapidly advancing technology, we can unmask the cowardly murderers who have remained hidden in our community and bring justice to the grief-stricken families who have waited too long for answers,”

The case still remains under investigation by the Burbank Police Department and if you have any information about the case of the defendant you may contact the Burbank Police Department the other tip line at 818 238 – 3086. The FBI’s forensic genetic genealogy team also assisted in the investigation.


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