Using a California State Department DNA database, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said that it matched DNA at the scene to a suspect who was arrested and accused of Lindgren’s murder August 6.
Lindgren Was Murdered In 1996
Detectives have arrested a suspect in the 1996 murder of 67-year-old Mary Lindgren of Covina.
— Ruby Gonzales (@RubyGonzales2) August 6, 2020
Mary Frances Iaconis Lindgren lived alone at “Covina Villa Retirement Home,” an assisted living center for seniors on a first-floor bedroom, the LASD reported. Facility staff discovered the 67-year-old’s body 7:30 a.m. on January 19, 1996, and later determined that she had been beaten, raped and murdered.
According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, an intruder entered Lindgren’s room through an unlocked sliding glass door and attacked her, leaving her until staff came to wake her up for breakfast the next day.
Homicide detectives from LASD had worked with members of the Covina Police Department to investigate the crime. Despite interviewing facility staff, residents, the families of residents, vendors, contractors, delivery personnel and neighbors, officers struggled to find a strong suspect based on the leads they found, the LASD reported.
Then last year, Homicide Lt. Hugo Reynaga said the Los Angeles DA decided to submit the DNA profile found at the scene of Lindgren’s murder for a familial DNA search.
The Suspect Was Found Using Familial DNA
LA Sheriff’s finally caught Mary Lindgren’s RAPE & MURDER SUSPECT after 24yrs.
— Deputy Juanita (@LASDJUANITA) August 7, 2020
Detectives went to a neighborhood in El Monte and arrested 46-year-old David Adolph Bernal, the suspect to whom DNA from the scene was matched, according to what Reynaga told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
It took more than six months after detectives provided California’s DOJ with DNA before investigators got a hit of a relative; Reynaga told the Tribune that the relative was the late father of David Adolph Bernal.
Court records show that Bernal’s arraignment took place on August 7 and his bail was set at $2 million. His next court appearance is August 10.
Lindgren’s Children Are Grateful To LASD
After decades without a significant lead, homicide investigators from the LA County Sheriff’s Department found a match to the DNA evidence collected on the scene of the murder of Mary Lindgren.https://t.co/E5AENiPjL6
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) August 7, 2020
Lindgren’s children, Don and Kristina Lindgren as well as Carol Leonard, have released a statement thanking the LASD:
We are profoundly grateful that the killer of our mother, Mary Frances Iaconis Lindgren, has been identified and arrested. Haunted by her brutal murder for nearly two and a half decades, we are relieved to know that justice will finally be served.
We prayed that this unknown killer would someday be identified, arrested, prosecuted and eternally judged. As the years passed, it became an act of will to continue to hope that our mother’s case mattered, to have faith and trust that an answer would come. Mom mattered to Det. Purcell.
My sisters and I offer a lifetime of thanks to all who knew mom and expressed support for our family throughout these years of grief. We are also beholden to everyone who helped expose this killer and bring him to justice. We are especially grateful that the cloud of not knowing is lifting, that we can begin to focus on beautiful and happy memories of our mother, Mary Frances Iaconis Lindgren.