DNA match brings arrests in California girls’ 1973 killings

From The Associated Press:

MARYSVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Decades-old DNA led to the arrests Tuesday of two men in connection with the shotgun slayings of two girls in California more than 40 years ago, authorities said.

They arrested one suspect in Oklahoma and another in California after comparing their DNA with semen from two men found on one of the victims, 13-year-old Doris Karen Derryberry.

She and 12-year-old Valerie Janice Lane, both of Olivehurst, California, were reported missing by their mothers on Nov. 12, 1973, after they failed to return from a shopping mall in nearby Linda that the girls had visited the previous day.

A few hours later, the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department was notified that the bodies of two girls had been found alongside a dirt road in a wooded area near Marysville, north of Sacramento, where they had been shot at close range with a shotgun, Sheriff Steve Durfor said Tuesday.

Arrested Tuesday were two 65-year-old cousins, Larry Don Patterson of Oakhurst, Oklahoma, and William Lloyd Harbour of Olivehurst, California. Both were 22 at the time of the killings and living in Olivehurst, a small agricultural town in California’s Central Valley.

Durfor said both have since served prison sentences that resulted in their DNA being collected: Harbour for drug offenses in 1997 and 2003, and Patterson for a 1976 arrest on charges of raping two adult women in Chico, also in Northern California. Patterson also had a 2006 arrest for failing to register as a sex offender, Durfor said.

The families “have endured decades of suffering and grief for not knowing who was responsible for the brutal murder of their loved ones,” Durfor said. They were informed in a meeting Tuesday and requested privacy, …

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