Police Arrest Suspect In Unsolved Murder Case From 43 Years Ago

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Kevin Harness Contributor
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Police arrested a man Sunday in Colorado under the suspicion that he may have been involved in an unsolved murder 43 years ago.

The suspect, 76-year-old Mark Stanley Personette, was arrested in Denver in a joint operation conducted by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), the FBI, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The authorities were investigating the 1978 murder of 15-year-old Marissa Harvey, KCNC-TV, a local CBS affiliate, reported. (RELATED: Man Arrested In Connection With 2 Unsolved 1982 Murders)

Harvey was visiting from New York to see family in San Francisco. She left March 27 to visit Golden Gate Park. That was the last her family saw of her until the next day when her body was discovered in Sutro Heights Park, according to KTVU.

Investigators used every resource they had to find the person responsible for Harvey’s murder, but the case reportedly went cold due to their resources being limited. However, the SFPD’s homicide cold-case unit reopened the case in October of 2020 and with the help of the forensic sciences division, were able to determine Personette as a potential suspect in Harvey’s murder, according to the outlet.

“For more than four decades, Marissa Harvey’s family members have been relentless advocates to bring her killer to justice, and we hope this development in the case begins to bring a measure of healing and closure they’ve been too long denied,” Police Chief Bill Scott said, KCNC-TV reported.

In the aftermath of Personette’s arrest, the SFPD urged law enforcement agencies across the nation 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 a local NBC affiliate.