CBS News reports a man has been arrested in a cold case from 1980 involving the kidnapping, raping and murdering of a 14-year-old girl, Suzanne Bombardier. Mitchell Bacom, 63, was taken into custody this week in northern California.
Bombardier was taken when she was babysitting her nieces in Antioch one night, and the case has been open the past 37 years. Her body was discovered in the San Joaquin River days later by a fisherman, and Bombardier had suffered a stab wound to the chest.
The case was reopened in 2015 to analyze DNA evidence from the body with methods that weren’t available 37 years ago. Bombardier’s niece and friend met with the original investigators on the case in 2014, prompting them to reopen it. Bacom is a registered sex offender in the area and his DNA was already in the local and national databases, according to the SFGate. The FBI’s Combined DNA Index System was used to link the specimens to Bacom and confirm that it was his DNA at the scene.
Bacom was arrested at his home in Antioch on the 300 block of West Madill Street. He was acquainted with the Bombardier family at the time of the murder, authorities told SFGate. He will be charged with kidnapping, rape, murder, oral copulation and murder with the use of a deadly weapon.
Over the years, several suspects had come to light
This marks the closing of the oldest unsolved murder in the history of the Antioch Police Department. The police are also trying to determine if there are other unsolved crimes Bacom was involved in, or if he has other victims who haven’t reported an incident with him to authorities.
In 1973, Bacom was convicted of assault with intent to murder and sodomy, and was sentenced to five years to life. In 1981, he was convicted of robbery, rape and sodomy, and was sentenced to 24 years. In 2002, he was sentenced to four years for failing to register as a sex offender in Contra Costa County, says SFGate.
*Photo credit Antioch Police Department