Then, the following morning, a delivery man discovered Karen’s body near a popular establishment known as Honey Bee Restaurant.
She was left thrown over a four-foot wall, without clothes, and had been stabbed over sixty times. Autopsy reports also revealed she had been raped.
The young teen’s horrific murder shook the Santa Clara community to its core, and authorities launched an extensive investigation.
And after decades without justice, Karen’s family and friends have finally received some answers as of this month.
On August 2, a seventy-five-year-old Hawaii resident name Gary Ramirez was arrested and will be arraigned on murder, kidnapping, and rape charges.
County of Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office; pictured above is Gary in 1979
The break in the case came in April of 2022 when Detective Matt Hutchison of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety identified Ramirez as the likely source of the bodily fluid and blood found at the crime scene.
Then, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Crime Lab confirmed the DNA identification and coordinated a months-long effort to arrest Ramirez in his Hawaii home.
Now, if convicted, Ramirez will face life in prison without parole.
Following his arrest, District Attorney Jeff Rosen described the determination of Detective Matt Hutchison in finally closing this case and how crucial DNA advancements are for solving cold cases like Karen’s around the world.