According to the statement, Marissa Rolf Harvey, who was 15 at the time, traveled to San Francisco from New York in March 1978 to visit family. Harvey went to Golden Gate Park on March 27 but reportedly never returned. She was found dead the next day in Sutro Heights Park. San Francisco Police investigated her death and used "the best available technology at the time and exhausted every lead."
However, the investigation went cold.
The San Francisco Police Department’s cold case unit reopened Harvey’s case in October 2020. The statement says they utilized "advanced investigative methods employed by SFPD’s industry-leading Forensic Sciences Division."
After arresting Personette, San Francisco Police is asking other agencies in the United States to "thoroughly review their sexual-assault-related cold-case homicides involving young women to identify any other incidents in which Personette may be a suspect."
According to SF Gate, Harvey, who was adopted, learned she had a sister who lived in the Bay Area. The sister reportedly visited Harvey in Long Island and told her they had the same mother. Harvey’s parents reluctantly let her visit her sister over Easter break at the end of March 1978.
SF Gate reports Harvey wanted to go horseback riding, and her sister’s friend took her to the stables at Golden Gate Park. The stables turned out to be closed, but she never returned home. Harvey’s sister reported her missing that day. On the day she was found, a man on a walk reportedly saw feet sticking out of a bush and called police.
Harvey was reportedly sexually assaulted and strangled to death.