DNA links original suspect to 1983 murder

A man initially set free for the murder of a 19-year-old woman found partially buried in the sand at Pescadero State Beach more than 30 years ago has been arrested again after investigators connected him to the crime with DNA evidence, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

John Scott, 67, was arrested on Monday in Topock, Arizona, where investigators found him living after reopening the case earlier this year. He is being extradited from Arizona to face charges in San Mateo County for the murder, according to the sheriff’s office.

Two sightseers found Sharon Ray of San Francisco on the beach north of Pescadero Creek Road on Oct. 30, 1983. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators determined Scott, who was 35 years old at the time, was the last person seen with Ray in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. He was arrested as a suspect in her murder but later released because there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him at the time, sheriff’s officials said.

But after the case was reopened earlier this year, new analysis of DNA evidence implicated Scott as the person who sexually assaulted and killed Ray, sheriff’s officials said.

Anyone with information about the case has been asked to contact San Mateo County sheriff’s Detective Scott Berberian at (650) 363-4051 or a tip line at (800) 547-2700.