Vallejo cold case murder solved nearly 50 years later

Bay Area

VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON) — Over the span of five decades, Vallejo police never gave up on tracking down Naomi Sanders’ killer.

She was a 57-year-old apartment complex manager and lived on property when she was sexually assaulted and strangled in her unit back on Feb. 27, 1973 on Oakwood Avenue.

She lived alone and had no children. Her murder case remained unsolved until recently, when DNA testing of a semen sample found on her clothing turned up some leads.

Through the years, detectives traveled to different states to find a match to the killer.

Eventually, when they couldn’t trace the DNA to the murderer directly, they researched potential family members. That led them to Robert Edwards.

He was 22-years-old old at the time of the killing.

And, it turns out, at one point, his father worked with Naomi Sanders.

When police learned Edwards died back in 1993 of a drug overdose in Napa County, and that is where his remains were cremated.

They reached out to his biological son, who lives out of state.

By testing his DNA, they were able to confirm the semen sample belonged to his father Robert Edwards — the killer, who had several run-ins with the law, including an assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.

Police were able to reach Naomi’s nieces after solving the case, who shared their gratitude for the detective bureau’s determination for justice.

In a statement, the family said:

“Many family members directly affected by the loss of Naomi have also passed, and unfortunately, they cannot be afforded the truth as to what happened. Those of us who do remember the stories of Naomi’s life and untimely death can now feel closure. Thanks to the determination and teamwork of the Vallejo police department and partnering law enforcement agencies. May Naomi now rest in peace.”

The Kadinger Family

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