NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KTLA) -- DNA evidence and a genealogy website led to the arrest of a Colorado man in the killing of an 11-year-old girl in Newport Beach nearly five decades ago, authorities announced Wednesday.
James Alan Neal, 72, is currently in custody in Colorado, O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer said at a news conference. He lived in Southern California in the 1970s as James Alan George Layton but changed his name following an incident in Florida, the DA added.
The victim, Linda Ann O'Keefe, went missing on July 6, 1973 while walking home from school. The next morning, her body was found in a ditch strangled in Newport Beach's Back Bay.
Detectives collected DNA from the crime scene at the time but did not find a match.
Officials said the information stayed in the system for a long period of time before data from a genealogical website linked the DNA to Neal.
Newport Beach police said after gathering more DNA evidence, detectives detained Neal in Colorado on Tuesday morning.
He's facing charges of murder, kidnapping and lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, Spitzer said. The D.A. said his office does not yet know whether Neal will waive extradition.