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Teen’s 1978 Bay Area Slaying Solved After 43 Years, Colorado Man Arrested

An seniors Colorado man continues to be arrested after he was recognized as the killer of the 15-year-old girl who had been murdered while visiting Bay Area greater than 40 years ago.

Mark Stanley Personette, 76, was taken into police child custody regarding the the cold situation slaying of Marissa Rolf Harvey, whose murder has baffled investigators for 43 years. He was arrested in Conifer, Colorado — that is outdoors Denver — on Thursday.

Harvey disappeared on March 27, 1978 throughout a family trip to Bay Area, soon after visiting Golden Gate Park. Her body was discovered inside a plant the following day in nearby Sutro Heights Park. She’d been strangled and raped, the Bay Area Chronicle Herald reported.

The 15-year-old had traveled to Bay Area to go to her newly found biological sister, 

As years passed and San Francisco’s homicide unit “exhausted every lead,” the situation eventually went cold. 

In October 2020, Bay Area police detectives re-opened up their analysis into Harvey’s decades-old unsolved murder — and advances in forensic technology ultimately brought detectives to Personette, police stated.

On 12 ,. 9, a Bay Area superior judge signed a warrant for Personette’s arrest, based on court papers acquired by Archiweekend.com. Personette was later booked right into a Jefferson County, Colorado detention facility, based on online jail records acquired by Archiweekend.com. He’s being held without bond pending his likely extradition to California.

However, it’s unclear when Personette might be transferred to California. He’s contesting his extradition from Colorado, further court filings show. 

“May be competency concerns,” a handwritten county order from the court notes concerning the 76-year-old’s current mental condition following his recent court.

Personette is scheduled to look again in the court in Jefferson County on Jan. 10, officials stated. It’s unclear if he’s retained a lawyer.

Personette was previously indicted in 1980 on irritated sexual assault charges associated with the rape of a  different 16-year-old girl, based on the Courier-News. Police force suspects Personette could engage in other unsolved murders round the country. 

“In the wake of the homicide suspect’s arrest, the Bay Area Police Department is requesting that police force agencies inside the U . s . States completely review their sexual-assault-related cold-situation homicides involving youthful women to recognize every other occurrences by which Personette can be a suspect,” the Bay Area Police Department stated inside a statement. 

The situation remains open and active, police stated. A spokesperson for that Bay Area Police Department on Monday declined to discuss the situation beyond their existing statement, referring all queries to prosecutors. The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office also declined to comment further around the situation on Monday.

Harvey would be a pianist as well as an enthusiastic traveler who spent two summers cycling through Europe just before her dying, her family stated. 

“She was special, happy, she loved creatures and plants and flowers,” her mother told the Bay Area Chronicle Herald in 1978. “Marissa would be a special, completely different, young girl.”

“For greater than 40 years, Marissa Harvey’s family people happen to be relentless advocates to create her killer to justice, so we hope this rise in the situation starts to bring a stride of healing and closure they’ve been too lengthy denied,” Bay Area Police Chief Bill Scott stated inside a statement.

“To the families and buddies of victims waiting for justice for crimes committed within our city, hopefully this situation transmits an unequivocal message that you’re never forgotten through the Bay Area Police Department — which our cold-situation investigators continue their tireless focus on your loved ones’ account,” he added.

Anybody with a lot more information associated with Harvey’s 1978 murder is advised to make contact with Bay Area Police Department’s homicide unit at 415-553-9245.

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Written by Stephanie Green

I am dreamer and book reader.

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