On May 19th, 2023

Santa Cruz County Cold Case Homicide Victim Identified California Department of Justice Jan Bashinski DNA Lab among those that assisted in identification

“There is an incredible amount of work using the most up-to-date technology that goes on at California Department of Justice crime labs and we are continually in awe of the criminalists who work to find answers and seek the truth for law enforcement, families and public safety.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY – On May 18, 2023, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office announced that a cold case homicide victim from 1988 has now been identified with the help of new techniques and technology.

On Saturday, February 13, 1988, the skeletal remains of an adult male were found down an embankment off Bonny Doon Road. The identity of the man was not known at the time, and an autopsy revealed his death to be homicide. There have been no arrests in this case and until now, the decedent had been designated as “John Doe”.

In 2020, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office, including the Sheriff’s Office Forensics Services Division, began utilizing forensic genetic genealogy techniques to finally identify the decedent and make notification to next of kin.

With the partnership of the California Department of Justice Jan Bashinski DNA Lab, Parabon Nanolabs, and the Menominee County Sheriff’s Office, the decedent has now been positively identified as Marty Robin Rupar, who was born in 1966 and was last known to reside in Mississippi. According to his family, Rupar went missing in 1983. The timeline of his arrival in California is not clear.

Rupar’s siblings have been notified of his identification and are thankful to the Sheriff’s Office for the opportunity to lay him to rest.

The Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the circumstances of Marty Rupar’s death. Anyone with any information regarding Rupar is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division at (831) 454-7630.

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