Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Serial Killer Linked to Rubidoux Slayings (Press Enterprise) Nov. 16, 2010

Serial killer linked to Rubidoux slayings

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04:24 PM PST on Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County sheriff's homicide detectives have linked a convicted serial killer to the execution-style killing of an Ontario man and a Rubidoux woman, authorities announced.

Cold case detectives linked Alfredo Rolando Prieto, 44, as a suspect in the two Inland killings. The connection follows a death sentence Prieto received last week for two other murders in Fairfax, Virginia. In all, Prieto has been convicted of or is believed to be responsible for nine slayings prior to his arrest in 1990.

Prieto has been on California's Death Row since 1992 for the rape and shooting of a 15-year-old Yvonne Woodruff in Ontario. He was extradited to Virginia in 2005 following a DNA match to the murder of a couple in that state.

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cold case Rubidoux slayings
Alfredo Rolando Prieto

Homicide detectives delayed announcing the arrest in the Rubidoux case for six weeks to avoid influencing the Virginia jury hearing testimony in his penalty phase.

A DNA hit led detectives to Prieto as the suspect in the May 1990 killing of Stacey Siegrist, 19, and Tony Gianuzzi, 21 whose bodies were discovered shot and dumped along a dirt powerline road off Canal and Alta streets.

Detectives recently notified family members of both victims about the match last month, 20 years after they were killed.

Sheriff's deputies said Siegrist was sexually assaulted and shot twice, once in the temple and one in the back of her head. Gianuzzi was bound at his wrists and ankles and shot twice in the back of the head and his neck.

The couple were dating and last seen May 3, 1990.

Earlier this year, Riverside County homicide detectives submitted DNA evidence found at the scene to Orchid Cellmark, a private lab in Texas. The testing was done through a 2009 National Institute of Justice grant awarded to the Sheriff's Department.

On Oct. 4, Prieto's DNA was matched to the 1990 crime scene, according to central homicide Sgt. Scott Brown. Detectives believe Prieto may have been working with up to two or three other suspects who have not been identified.

Homicide detectives plan to forward the case to the Riverside County district attorney to review if new charges will be filed.

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cold case Rubidoux slayings
Tony Gianuzzi, left, and Stacey Siegrist were shot and killed in May 1990. They were dating and last seen May 3, 1990.

Prieto is already facing three death sentences for crimes in California and Virginia.

Beginning May 10, 1988, Prieto was suspected of sexually assaulting and shooting an Arlington, Virginia woman on May 10, 1988. He was linked to the death of Tina Jefferson through DNA, but has not been charged.

Then in December 1988, he raped and murdered 22-year-old Rachael Raver and killed Warren Fulton III, in Reston, VA. A jury recommended death in the killings last week, but Prieto has not been sentenced.

Prieto was later accused of shooting Manuel F. Sermeno, 27, in September 1989, leaving Sermeno's body in a burning car near Interstate 95 in Prince William, Virginia. He was linked to the case by gun ballistics, but has not been charged. Prosecutors said they are not likely to seek charges.

By May of 1990, detectives believe Prieto had come to California where he was accused of killing Siegrist and Gianuzzi in Rubidoux.

Prieto was suspected of shooting and killing Lula Farley, 71, in Ontario in June 1990. Her husband, Herbert Farley, was abducted and found shot two weeks later in Rubidoux. Prieto was matched to the case through ballistics but has not been charged.

Prieto's final murder came Sept. 2, 1990, when he and two other suspects kidnapped three women in Ontario during a home burglary. There, Prieto raped and shot Yvette Woodruff. The other two men raped the other two women and stabbed them repeatedly. The women survived, and later identified Prieto and the other two men. All three men were sentenced to death. Prieto's case is going through appeals in California.

The Rubidoux case is the fourth cold case homicide matched by the sheriff's Cold Case Unit since the grant was awarded. Detectives are reviewing 84 unsolved homicides with possible DNA evidence. So far, two cases have come back with suspect DNA.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to call investigator John Powers at 951-955-2777.

Reach John Asbury at 951-763-3451 or jasbury@PE.com

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