EAR Investigation, DNA Technology May Help Solve Another Decades Old Murder Case

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SACRAMENTO -- 12 murders and 50 rapes. The East Area Rapist/ Golden State Killer case is huge. As investigators continue to piece together suspect Joseph DeAngelo's life, many wonder if he will be linked to any other cold cases across the state.

In response to an arrest in the East Area Rapist case, investigators in Placer County say they are taking a "fresh look" at their old cases.

There have been questions recently, about the 25-year-old unsolved murder of a teacher in Granite Bay.

Cherilyn Hawkley was a fifth-grade teacher in Granite Bay when she disappeared in October of 1993.

She was later found dead, in the back seat of her car.

Her killer was never caught and the case went cold.

In recent years, investigators with the Placer County Sheriff's Department began taking a new look at the case using new forensic technology.

They were testing a ligature found at the crime scene of Hawkley’s case.

The East Area Rapist often used ligatures to tie up his victims in the 70's and 80's.

With suspect, Joseph DeAngelo now behind bars, facing 12 murder charges, there has been speculation that more crimes might be tied to the already huge case.

FOX40 reached out to the Placer County Sheriff's Department to ask if investigators would explore a link between Hawkley's murder and the East Area Rapist case.

They said, "while we have no reason to believe any of our cases are related to the EAR investigation, we are taking a fresh look at them to see if there is any possibility they may be related. At this time, we have not seen a correlation."

Just yesterday, Governor Brown granted $1.95 million to a man who was wrongly incarcerated for 38 years.

70-year-old Craig Richard Coley was arrested for the 1978 murder of a Simi Valley woman and her 4-year- old son.

It was ultimately new DNA testing that cleared Coley. He was released in November.

Investigators are looking into whether those murders were committed by the Golden State Killer.

A lot of people are now hopeful that other cold cases will be solved using new DNA technology.

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