A suspect has been identified in the 1992 cold case murder of a woman from Alameda, California, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
Gregory Marc Riviera, 50, who died earlier this year, was identified through fingerprints as the suspect in the murder of 25-year-old Juliette Rivera, the sheriff said in a press release.
Riviera evaded arrest in connection with murder for 30 years by assuming his brother’s identity, authorities said.
The case began when the sheriff’s department opened a missing persons investigation for Juliette Rivera on July 7, 1992, authorities said. Investigators contacted Riviera, an acquaintance of Rivera.
Police said they were beginning to suspect Riviera was involved in the woman’s disappearance due to inconsistencies in his statements to detectives.
A woman’s body was found on July 17, 1992, by a farm worker in a rural area of unincorporated San Mateo County, according to authorities. The body, which was in poor condition, was later identified as Juliette Rivera. An autopsy revealed she had suffered blunt trauma to her left posterior skull from a flat object.
An arrest warrant was issued against Riviera, in which he was charged with the murder, but he had left his apartment on July 29, 1992 and had been missing for 30 years, police said.
On May 12, 2022, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Merced County Coroner’s Office saying that an unprotected man identified as Jon Paul had died earlier this year, officials said. The Merced County coroner performed a fingerprint analysis to find the man’s next of kin, and the fingerprints matched Gregory Marc Riviera.
The coroner found a warrant for Riviera’s arrest and worked with the sheriff’s detectives to confirm his identity, police said. During the investigation, detectives discovered that Riviera had a brother named Jon Paul, who was alive but had medical problems, Paul’s daughter told the coroner.
Jon Paul’s daughter also told police that Riviera and her father used each other’s identities for 30 years to evade authorities.
“The closure of this 30-year-old cold case murder case would not have been possible without the assistance of the Alameda Police Department, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner Bureau, and the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office,” the sheriff’s office said. . in a statement. “Thank you all for your cooperation and great work.”