Thursday, November 10, 2011
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A suspect has been arrested in the 1972 slaying of a Rancho Cordova girl, Sacramento County Sheriff's Department officials announced Thursday.
The body of 12-year-old Shannon Ritter was found on Sept. 30, 1972, in a Rancho Cordova apartment where she had been baby-sitting four younger children.
Ritter had been strangled and drowned.Authorities said the case was investigated at the time, but detectives were unable to gather enough evidence to bring a suspect to trial for the killing.
The case was reopened earlier this year, after which detectives were able to bring new evidence to the crime lab for analysis.
That evidence led investigators to 57-year-old James Calvin Gaines, who was arrested in Florida on Friday."He was very shocked, very shocked. It was very early in the morning.
He was cooperative, but very shocked," Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Homicide Detective Jim Barnes said.Investigators said that in 1972, Gaines lived in the same apartment complex as Ritter.
Authorities said Gaines was returned to Sacramento on Thursday and booked into the Sacramento County Jail in connection with Ritter's slaying. He is expected to appear in court on Monday for arraignment.