Plea delayed in 1986 homicide case


Defense attorneys for a 49-year-old man, recently arrested in connection with the 1986 killing of a 17-year-old girl, will have an additional three weeks to review police reports before entering a plea in Superior Court in Redwood City. This is an update to an earlier story.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe described the request for more time as routine. Mr. Kelley, whose next court date is Sept. 21, is being represented by attorneys participating in the county's public defender program, Mr. Wagstaffe said.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office reopened this unsolved murder case this year and ran a DNA analysis of the fluids found in the victim, which led to identifying John William Kelley, 49, of Placerville as a suspect.

Detectives from the Sheriff's Office traveled to the Gold Country on Aug. 15 and arrested Mr. Kelley in connection with the December 1986 homicide of a 17-year-old Ben Lomond girl, Annette Thur.

A registered sex offender who has lived in California and Oregon, Mr. Kelley was booked into county jail without bail on charges of kidnapping, rape and murder.

Early on the morning of Dec. 6, 1986, Ms. Thur had planned to hitchhike home from a party in Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz mountains, deputies said.

A tourist discovered Ms. Thur's body lying on an embankment off Skyline Boulevard just north of Alpine Road, deputies said. Her body showed signs of having been beaten and sexually assaulted, but interviews and investigations of friends, associates and others did not results in leads in the case.

The cause of death was strangulation or smothering, deputies said. The case has the potential for a sentence of death or of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this case to contact Detective Andy Armando at 363-4347 or, or Detective Matt Broad at 363-4363 or To reach the Sheriff's Office anonymous tip line, call 800-547-2700.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm

I wonder if they're looking at Kelley if there are other open cases similar to this in the areas where he has lived.

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