CREEK COUNTY, Okla. – A suspect believed to be connected to a double rape cold case investigation in California was arrested in Oklahoma this week.
U.S. Marshals reported capturing a suspect that could be also be connected to a double homicide investigation that also took place in California.
Authorities Larry Patterson, 65, was living in Oakhurst, Oklahoma for about a year, unregistered as a sex offender, and wanted in connection to the homicides of two young women in 1973.
"He was arrested on failure to register as a sex offender an also warrants that stand out in Yuba County, California for a suspect in a double homicide in 1973," U.S. Marshals Service Sr. Inspector Dustin Ramsey said.
The investigation went unsolved for years due to a lack of technology and processes not available in the 1970s, reports Yuba County, California authorities.
Then in 2014, investigators took another look at the case and found DNA evidence that matched and identified the two suspects: Patterson and William Harbour, 65.
Harbour was arrested Tuesday in California while Patterson was found living in Oklahoma.
Yuba County officials in California report that the case started on November 12, 1973 when then 12 year old Valerie Lane and 13 year old Doris Derryberry.
The two teens were originally reported as runaways after several people reported seeing the pair around town before they went missing. Authorities say the next day when the girls did not return home, they were reported missing.
Not long after, Yuba County Sheriff’s Department found the bodies of the teens alongside a dirt road. Authorities say the pair appeared to have been killed by a shotgun blasts at close range.
"I can tell you as a prosecutor for 32 years that it gave me a great deal o satisfaction to be able to meet with those family members an finally tell them that we had developed the evidence that revealed who had killed their daughters," Yuba County District Attorney Patrick McGrath said,.
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