DNA tech leads to Arizona man’s arrest in 28-year-old Fremont cold case

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New DNA technology helped lead to the arrest of an Arizona man in a 28-year-old cold case homicide investigation out of Fremont.

According to the Fremont Police Department, 52-year-old Anthony Guerrero has been charged in the 1990 murder of Jack Upton in Fremont after his DNA compared to evidence at the scene of the crime was found to be a match. 

Upton, a Fremont resident, was 30-years-old at the time of his death. 

He was reported missing on Dec. 17, 1990 after not showing up to work after several days. Police found his body at his home on Tyson Lane in Fremont. Officials say evidence found at the apartment pointed to a brutal homicide. 

A week later, Upton’s car, which was also reported stolen, was found abandoned in a parking lot of a mall in Thousand Oaks, California, about 350 miles from his home.

Blood samples in the car matched blood samples inside his apartment, and officials say it was determined the blood samples belonged to the suspect. 

Authorities were able to create a full male DNA profile and when further DNA testing became available, but the DNA profile did not match anyone in the CODIS system. 

Officials say over the years several new leads were investigated but it was not until Apr. 2018 when new DNA technology led to the arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer that they decided to reach out to the same lab that assisted in that case. 

With the help of Parabon NanoLabs, the suspect DNA from the Upton murder case was processed and compared against existing genealogical DNA profiles which the lab had access to.

This search produced the suspect, Guerrero, who would have been 25-years-old at the time of the murder. 

Officials say prior to these searches, Guerrero had never been contacted or interviewed in connection with Upton’s homicide. 

Authorities began surveillance and found Guerrero living in Tempe, Arizona. 

Detectives obtained a DNA sample from him in Oct. 2018 for comparison and found it to be a match to blood found in Upton’s apartment and car. 

Guerrero was arrested on Jan. 22, 2018 in Chandler, Arizona by Fremont Police Department detectives with the assistance of the Tempe Police Department and Chandler Police Department apprehension teams. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Fremont Police Deaprtment’s Investigative Unit at 510-790-6900. 

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