32 Years After Best Friends Were Murdered, Police Use DNA Evidence to Make an Arrest
Michelle Xavier and Jennifer Duey died in Fremont, California, in 1986 — and authorities arrested their suspected killer, David Misch, this week
They were best friends living in Fremont, California. And then, one day, they were murdered.
Michelle Xavier, 18, and 20-year-old Jennifer Duey had known each other for years. On Feb. 2, 1986, the two young women went out to a birthday dinner for a family member. After they left the restaurant, they stopped by a convenience store on their way home.
It was the last time they’d be seen alive.
Shortly after midnight, a motorcyclist found their naked bodies on the side of a road. They had been shot and stabbed.
Xavier’s car was discovered six miles from the scene, in the parking lot of a shopping center. Investigators never found their purses and identification.
“The deaths of the two women were highly publicized and left many in the community shaken and fearful in their own neighborhoods,” the Fremont Police Department said in a statement on Monday.
Authorities began an “extensive investigation,” including “thousands of leads,” and offered a $35,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, but none was made.
“While several people of interest were identified and interviewed over the years, Fremont Detectives would rule most out,” police said this week. “Unfortunately … the case went cold and was eventually suspended.”
But after 32 years of mystery, authorities believe that they have solved the case thanks to DNA evidence linking a suspect to the crime.
Fremont police announced on Tuesday that they arrested David Misch, 57, on two counts of murder in the deaths of Duey and Xavier.
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Misch is already serving an 18-year sentence in prison for an unrelated 1989 murder.
Police don’t believe he had any connection to the two young women, and that the killings were random.
In a statement, the women’s family members expressed gratitude that they were finally getting some closure.
“The Xavier and Duey families wish to thank the Fremont Police Department and all of the officers and detectives who worked countless hours during the past 32 years on our daughters’ case,” their statement reads. “We have been in constant contact with them, so we know how deeply they care and how hard they work.”
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“We wish to extend our appreciation to our many friends in the community who supported us, stood by us, and prayed for us during those most difficult years,” the statement continues.
“Numerous unexpected acts of kindness sustained us,” the families said. “We now wait for justice and hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.”
Misch has not yet entered a plea to his new murder charges and no bond has been set. He remains in prison.
It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney for the new charges.