An El Monte man allegedly linked by DNA testing to the rape and killing of a woman at an assisted living center for senior citizens in Covina more than two decades ago is expected to make his initial court appearance Friday.
David Adolph Bernal, 46, was taken into custody in El Monte on Thursday by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau in connection with the January 1996 slaying of Mary Lindgren.
The 67-year-old victim — who lived alone in a first-floor room — was found dead on the morning of Jan. 19, 1996, by staff at the Covina Villa Retirement Home. She had been raped and beaten, authorities said.
Investigators conducted extensive interviews with the facility’s staff members, residents and their families, outside vendors, contractors, delivery personnel and neighbors living near the center — all of whom were excluded as potential suspects, according to the sheriff’s department.
Several items of evidence, including DNA, were also collected and held for forensic analysis.
The suspect’s DNA profile was developed, but it did not match any profiles within the state or federal criminal justice DNA databases, according to a sheriff’s statement.
Homicide investigators assigned to the sheriff’s Unsolved Unit subsequently collaborated with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 2019 to submit the unidentified DNA profile to the California Department of Justice, which notified investigators of their results.
Homicide investigators, along with sheriff’s crime lab personnel, subsequently identified Bernal, whose “DNA was a match collected (with DNA) collected from the body of Mary Lindgren,” according to the sheriff’s department.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: