Image May Lead to Break in Castro Valley Homicide Case - NBC Bay Area
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Image May Lead to Break in Castro Valley Homicide Case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A newly released photograph may help bring sheriff’s investigators closer to finding a killer in Castro Valley. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017)

    A newly released photograph may help bring sheriff’s investigators closer to finding a killer in Castro Valley.

    Andrea St. John was killed in her home in the second week of December, and the suspect set her home on fire. Since then, investigators with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office have been working hard to come up with leads in the case, and Thursday, they may have finally found a break. They have established a person of interest through surveillance video in the area.

    The rough video shows a shadowy figure. That image along with the description of a car seen in the area provide hope St. John's killer will be found.

    A screen shot from surveillance video shows a person of interest in a Castro Valley homicide last month. Inset: Generic photo of Toyota Corolla, a car model of interest in the case.
    Photo credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office

    "At this point, we are appealing to the public," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said. "Can you please help us? That surveillance video is grainy, but it gave us a timeline and gave us an image we’re interested in."

    The video also shows the person of interest leans to one side when walking.

    Investigators were able to identify a 2011 to 2013 Toyota Corolla as a vehicle of interest, sheriff's officials said.

    Authorities said the person and the car were seen in the area late at night on Dec. 12 or early morning Dec. 13, about the same time detectives found St. John dead in her home in the 1800 block of Grove Way.

    The home was set on fire, and investigators believe it was done to cover up evidence in the killing.

    "She’s everything good about a community," Kelly said. "She’s a mother, grandmother, and she’s got two daughters that are really grieving bad for her."

    Neighbors in the area are shaken but glad deputies now have a clue.

    "I think this is really encouraging," neighbor Scott Parson said, "and I’m glad that this investigation hasn’t just died off."

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