Warrants released in decades-old murder case - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Warrants released in decades-old murder case

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – There's new information involving a decades-old murder case, and two men implicated in the killing.

Warrants were released Friday in the murder of 14-year-old Claire Hough, who was found dead on Torrey Pines State Beach in 1984. One of the men died in 2011, and the other took his own life last week.

Detectives say Hough had been strangled to death, sexually assaulted and mutilated. According to search warrants obtained by CBS News 8, the case has been revisited several times over the past 30 years, and in November 2012, DNA evidence linked both Kevin Brown and Ronald Tatro to the crime.

The warrant states that "Kevin Brown's sperm was found on vaginal swabs collected from Hough at autopsy and Ronald Tatro's blood and DNA was found on Hough's clothing." It also states "This indicates Kevin Brown had sexual intercourse with 14-year-old Claire Hough."

Tatro was on parole at the time for rape. The warrant states he was also a person of interest for the murder of a prostitute, but never charged. He was killed in a boating accident in August 2011, months before he was named in the Hough case.

Brown, meanwhile worked as civilian employee for the San Diego Police Department from 1982 to 2002. After connecting him to Hough's murder, detectives interviewed his co-workers, as well as his former manager, who said he did not work on Hough's case and that "cross-DNA contamination is not possible." One co-worker reported Brown was open about "the frequency in which he patronized the local strip club."

One detective believes that is how Brown and Tatro knew each other, writing: "I believe Brown and Tatro met while traveling in similar circles," noting strippers often engage in prostitution, and Tatro admitted to utilizing the services of prostitutes.

Investigators were reportedly just days away from arresting Brown when he committed suicide last week. Shortly after his death, his widow defended her husband.

"As soon as they push him to suicide, they say 'Oh it's solved,' and he's not the man. He is not the man," Rebecca Brown said.

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