Saturday, November 26, 2022

Fairfield Man Arrested After DNA Links Him to Cold Case Homicides from 1980 and 1986

The following is a press release issued by the Solano County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:


James Ray Gary [Mugshot provided by the Solano County Sheriff’s Office]

A Fairfield man has been arrested in connection with multiple homicides spanning three jurisdictions and more than three decades.

In July of 1980, officers were dispatched to a home in Union City where a woman was found dead inside. The victim was identified as 46-year-old Latrelle Lindsay of Union City. Her cause of death was determined to be asphyxia due to strangulation associated with blunt force injuries. She had also been the victim of sexual assault. At the time, no suspects were identified in this killing. A DNA sample was later sent for entry and search in a law enforcement database, but no match was made.

In March of 1996, a body was discovered by Caltrans in bushes on Highway 780 near Laurel Street in Vallejo. The victim was identified as 46-year-old Winifred Douglas from the Oakland/Berkeley area. Her cause of death was determined to be asphyxia and blunt force trauma to the head and neck and was ruled a homicide. At the time, no suspects were identified in this killing.

In 2003, evidence from the Solano County homicide with possible DNA was sent to the CA Department of Justice for DNA analysis. A single DNA profile was found, but when loaded into the FBI’s DNA database, no match was made. In 2012, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office was informed that the DNA profile from the Solano County homicide matched a piece of evidence from a Union City Police Department homicide from 1980. However, still no suspect was identified.

Earlier this month, Union City PD and the Solano County Sheriff’s Office were notified that the DNA profile identified from their two cases, also matched a sex crime investigated by a North Bay Police Department in 2021. Detectives were able to identify a possible suspect from this newest case.

Ultimately, detectives were able to collect a DNA sample from 76-year-old James Ray Gary from Fairfield. This newly obtained DNA sample was submitted as comparison to the already identified DNA from the three crimes. On July 18, 2022, our office was notified that the submitted DNA sample from Gary matched all three crimes mentioned above. A warrant was obtained for his arrest and to search his home.

Gary was arrested on July 19th and was later booked into Solano County Jail for homicide and is being held without bail. Additional charges are expected to be filed in connection with Union City’s 1980 homicide.

We are grateful for the cooperation between the Union City Police Department, the CA Department of Justice, and the Solano County Sheriff’s Office. We are hopeful that this arrest can help bring some closure to the families and friends that have been seeking justice for as much as 40 years.

This case remains under active investigation. If you have information relating to the 1996 Solano County homicide, please contact Solano Sheriff Investigations at 707-784-7050. If you have information relating to the 1980 Union City homicide, please contact Union City PD Investigations at 510-675-5227.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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