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1990 cold-case murder solved by Torrance detective, county sheriff's science investigator

March 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A 1990 Los Angeles murder was solved using DNA from a suspect who was killed in a separate crime.

Luis Herrera was strangled in L.A. and his body was dumped in Venice on Sept. 8, 1990. The LAPD recovered DNA evidence from the murder scene but did not find a match. The case was suspended and classified as a "cold case."

A Torrance Police detective reviewing Torrance cases in 2012 involving DNA samples matched Kevin Kemp's DNA to the Herrera murder. Kemp was killed in 1990 when he tried to kidnap a Torrance woman outside her home in the early morning. Kemp placed a canvas strap around the woman's neck. The woman took a handgun from her purse and fatally shot Kemp. He was determined to be the sole assailant and was not convicted since he was deceased. His DNA was not entered into any database, according to Torrance Police.

In April 2012, Detective Sergeant Scott Turrentine was reviewing DNA samples in Torrance cases and suspected Kemp's involvement in other similar crimes. Turrentine worked with criminalist John Bockrath of the L.A. County Sheriff's Scientific Services Bureau. They matched Kemp's DNA to that of the sample taken from the Herrera murder.


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