DNA Under Young Mom's Fingernail Leads to Conviction More Than 4 Decades After Murder 

Sonia Carmen Herok-Stone was strangled to death with her own pantyhose in her Carmel home

Sonia Carmen Herok-Stone and Michael Scott Glazebrook
Sonia Carmen Herok-Stone; Michael Scott Glazebrook. Photo: Monterey County District Attorney's Office

DNA found underneath a young mom's broken fingernail has led to the conviction of a neighbor 40 years later.

Last week, Michael Glazebrook, 67, was found guilty of first-degree murder with enhancements for using a deadly weapon and for committing rape in the death of 30-year-old Sonia Carmen Herok-Stone.

The verdict comes 41 years after the former school bus driver was tried for the murder but not convicted after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

"It's been a day that we've been waiting for, for a really long time," Herok-Stone's daughter Sasha Stone said after the verdict, KSBW reported.

The case was reopened in 2020.

"The renewed investigation included forensic testing unavailable at the time of the original trial, according to the Monterey County District Attorney's office.

Herok-Stone, a single mother from Quebec, was strangled to death with her own pantyhose on Oct. 15, 1981 in her Carmel home while her 4-year-old daughter was at school.

"The testimony was that her backdoor was unlocked so we are presuming that is likely how he gained entry," Deputy District Attorney for Monterey County Matthew L'Heureux tells PEOPLE. "We didn't find any other signs of forced entry and we don't think she would have let him in."

L'Heureux says the attack happened right inside the front door.

"She still had her outer jacket and purse with her," he says. "We think it was likely she was walking in the house when she was attacked."

Herok-Stone, a sales representative at Levi Strauss, had a broken left ring fingernail with blood beneath it, which suggested she scratched her attacker.

Glazebrook was 25 and married at the time and had recently moved into the home across the street just months earlier. He became a suspect immediately after a detective investigating the killing spotted a three to four-inch vertical scratch down his right cheek.

"Initially he said he was at his father's house and then in 2021 when he was interviewed he said he was at school at the time of the murder," says L'Heureux.

Glazebrook was taking college classes and worked as a carpenter at the time of the killing.

L'Heureux says Herok-Stone and Glazebrook did not know each other.

"None of her friends or neighbors could say they knew each other," he says.

During this month's trial, California Department of Justice criminalists testified that DNA evidence found underneath Herok-Stone's broken fingernail and her right breast linked Glazebrook to the crime.

L'Heureux says in 1983 there was no DNA testing and all they could do was blood typing for genetic markers.

"I do think the DNA is what made the difference," he says. "It was the strongest direct evidence we had linking him to the murder."

"The family just wanted to express our tremendous gratitude for this team," Stone said, according to KSBW. "Sonya was a wonderful woman and we're so happy to see justice for her."

Glazebrook is scheduled to be sentenced on April 26. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

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