Arrest made in 40-year-old cold case murder of Marin County woman

Bay Area

RENO, Nev. (AP) — An Arizona man was extradited to Nevada on Friday after a cold-case investigation led to his arrest in the 1979 killing of a woman last seen in California.

The Nevada Attorney General’s Office and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said 73-year-old Charles Gary Sullivan was arrested in Arizona’s Yavapai County after being indicted in Nevada in August in the killing of 21-year-old Julia Woodward.

A statement announcing the arrest said the investigation included DNA analysis of evidence. Details weren’t released.

Woodward’s body was found March 25, 1979, in a shallow grave in a remote area about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Reno. She was last seen alive Feb. 1, 1979, at the San Francisco airport while headed for Reno.

Sullivan remained jailed Saturday pending a Tuesday arraignment on a murder charge. It wasn’t clear whether he has an attorney who could comment on the allegation.

The statement announcing the arrest said a Washoe County sheriff’s detective who reviewed the cold case asked for additional forensic analysis of the evidence and that it identified Sullivan as a possible suspect.

Officials plan to release more information about the case following the arraignment scheduled Tuesday, the statement said.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Woodward disappeared after she went to Nevada to look for job opportunities in Reno and the Lake Tahoe area. She previously lived with her parents in San Rafael, California.

The unsolved homicides webpage of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said the body of another victim, Jeannie Smith, 17, was found Nov. 2, 1979, buried about a mile from where Woodward’s body was found.

Sullivan hasn’t been charged in the case involving Smith, who was last seen in 1978 in Reno.

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