Suspects caught in IE cold case murders

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. The case was cold for nearly 24 years and investigators were stumped. Just who killed Rita Cobb? It's a question that's haunted the victim's son-in-law ever since.

Until this weekend, when sheriff's deputies arrested John Yablonsky and charged him with the murder.

"It's a relief," said Daryl Kraemer, the Cobb's son-in-law. "You look at him, and I can't wait to see the day that I see him personally in court."

Daryl Kraemer said he found his mother-in-law's body in one of the bedrooms at a Lucerne Valley home back in 1985. She was nude, a metal coat-hanger wrapped around her neck.

"It's been a long 24 years," said Kraemer. "You live with this every day, wondering who ... the first year of my life after that it was, you walk around and everybody is a suspect, and in a little town where it happened, it's not that many people, in the kind of town it was. I just thought everybody did it."

The break came in October, when Yablonsky was arrested by Long Beach Police on an unrelated charge. Investigators sampled his DNA and put it into a national database. Then the computer took over and matched the sample to DNA found on Cobb's body 24 years before. Police say Yablonsky was a renter who occupied a studio behind the victim's home.

The district attorney's cold case team made the announcement Monday morning, along with news of a break in another cold case.

Seventy-year old Paul Johnson was arrested for killing transient John Eller back in 1987.

"My word to those out there that commit these crimes: You can try and hide, but eventually we're going to catch you, and we're going to continue to make this a priority in the district attorney's office, along with my sheriff, Rod Hoops," said /*San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos*/.

While this is certainly a victory for law enforcement, there's still a long way to go. The cold case team has now solved 10 such cases, but more than 600 remain unsolved.


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