Escondido Cold Case: Who Killed Richard Finney? - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Escondido Cold Case: Who Killed Richard Finney?

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. (CBS 8) - The aggravated stabbing death of Escondido resident Richard Finney, 75, has gone unsolved for nearly 26 years.

I happened on November 13, 1986 and the victim's daughter, Beatrice Turi, is still waiting for justice.

"You always expect something like this to happen to somebody else," said Turi. "You don't know how horrible it is until it happens to you."

The killer entered Finney's apartment in the 300 block of East Mission Ave and stabbed him 31 times. Robbery was the apparent motive.

"Why would he do that to that old man? All he had to do is push him over if he wanted to rob him. He wasn't going to get back up," Turi told News 8 during an interview at her Garden Grove home.

About $300 was missing from a strong box in Finney's apartment, along with several other curious items; items that seemingly only a homeless person would take.

The stolen items included a bathrobe, a towel, bars of soap and a mustache trimmer. Some of the items were apparently dropped by the killer as he ran away through the neighborhood.

Inside the apartment, detectives found a bloody hand print on the wall. The blood contained DNA from both the victim and the killer.

Five years ago, Escondido Police cold case investigators ran the DNA through a national database but there was no match. The killer's DNA was not in the system.

"It's like the silver bullet in any case," said Escondido Police cold case investigator Chuck Gaylor. "It's the best evidence any prosecutor could ever hope for because you have the mixture of the victim's and the suspect's blood."

"We came a long way with this case and we have great evidence. We're just missing the name of the perpetrator," said Gaylor.

The DNA profile already has cleared several potential suspects, Gaylor said, including transient Richard Tuite, who was convicted in the 1998 stabbing death of 12-year-old Stephanie Crowe inside her Escondido home.

"We were able to eliminate him as a suspect early on because his DNA profile was already on file," said Gaylor.

Beatrice Turi, 73, is now about the same age as her father when he was killed.

"You keep thinking, the guy who did it, did such a tragic thing to an old man that was sickly, what has he done to other people?" she said.

Turi is hoping someone comes forward with new information that can finally put this cold case to rest.

"I just hope and pray that it's solved before I die," said Turi.

If the killer himself has died, police can still use his DNA to confirm his identity through a living family member.

The FBI will soon complete a behavioral profile of the killer.

San Diego County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

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