Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Police detectives on Monday said DNA evidence collected at the scene of a 2002 stabbing death of a man at the Port of Long Beach has led to the arrest of a man in Central California suspected of killing him.

Detectives arrested Patterson resident Stewart Teofilo, 39, on Tuesday in Modesto as he appeared in court on unrelated charges and took him back to Long Beach, the Long Beach Police Department announced.

Detectives said they believe Teofilo is connected to the 2002 stabbing death of San Gabriel resident Maurice Howard.

Officers responding at 3:24 p.m. on June 24, 2002 to 1200 Pier E in the Port of Long Beach found Howard inside his vehicle in a parking lot at the location. Arriving paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, police said.

Howard had several stab wounds to his head, upper body and torso area. Detectives processing the scene collected a substantial amount of physical evidence but were unable to identify a suspect.

Several years later, cold case investigators submitted evidence to the Los Angeles County Crime Lab for DNA testing. In May 2014, detectives received information that a DNA profile from an evidence sample submitted resulted in a match to Teofilo.     “Detectives determined that although Teofilo was currently living in Patterson, he had connections to Long Beach,” police said.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed one count of murder on Thursday against Teofilo. He was arraigned Friday and was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail. He is expected to appear in court on Friday.     A motive for the killing was still under investigation. Long Beach police detectives asked anyone with any information regarding the stabbing attack to call them at (562) 570-7244.

City News Service

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