OAKLAND, Calif. (KTLA/AP) -- A California man serving time in prison for a 1989 murder has been charged with special-circumstances murder in the disappearance of Michaela Garecht, who was 9 years old when she vanished in November 1988.
Michaela Joy Garecht was last seen on Nov. 19, 1988, wearing jeans rolled over her knees and feather-shaped earrings. More than 32 years later, the 9-year-old girl with blond hair and blue eyes is still missing.
On Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, Northern California authorities announced they filed charges against convicted killer David Misch in the kidnapping and murder of Garecht, a cold case that stunned the Bay Area for decades.
Police said they were only recently able to match a partial palm print at the scene to Misch. Garecht's body has never been found. But Michaela’s body has never been found. She would have been 42 next month. Hayward detectives are treating Michaela’s disappearance as a murder even though her body was never found.
On Nov. 19, 1988, Michaela and her best friend rode their scooters to a market in Hayward to buy a snack days before Thanksgiving. They left their scooters outside, and officials allege that Misch moved a scooter to isolate one of the girls. When Michaela went to retrieve it, he forced her into his car and drove away. The palm print that led to Misch’s charges was found on the scooter.
Misch was already in a prison for the 1989 murder of a woman in the Hayward area. He is also a suspect in a 1986 case where two women were killed in Fremont, another city in the Bay Area.