cold case

Sonoma County Investigators Solve 25-Year-Old Cold Case

File image of Sonoma County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle.
Sonoma County Sheriff's Office

The identity of the man who killed Michelle Marie Veal more than 25 years ago is now known, according to investigators with the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives said Wednesday that DNA collected at the time of the murder has been linked to Jack Alexander Bokin, who died two months ago in prison while serving a 231-year sentence for a series of crimes, including raping a child.

The breakthrough was posted Wednesday morning on the Facebook page of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

According to the account in the announcement, the nude body of 32-year-old Veal (nee Hinojos), of Union City, was found July 15, 1996, on the side of the road by a survey crew working in the area of Stony Point Road, north of West Railroad Avenue in unincorporated Sonoma County about 2 miles south of Rohnert Park.

"The autopsy showed Veal had multiple skull fractures and a broken neck, consistent with blunt force head trauma," according to the new release. "At the time of the murder, evidence was collected, and Violent Crime detectives conducted an extensive investigation; all leads were exhausted. Despite their best efforts, the investigation went cold."

Detectives resubmitted evidence in April 2021 to the Serological Research Institute, and on Jan. 18 a match was found to Bokin.

Detectives soon learned that Bokin had died Dec. 4, 2021, at the California Department of Corrections Medical Facility in Vacaville.

Bokin had been arrested in October 1997 in San Francisco on multiple felony charges, including kidnapping, rape and attempted murder. He was found guilty and sentenced to 231 years in prison.

"Cold cases are just as crucial to our detectives as are current cases," the Sheriff's announcement reads. "We are constantly reviewing them, looking for new leads. We know that every cold case represents long-awaited answers for the family and friends of victims. Thanks to the hard work of our detectives and our law enforcement partners, we are now able to bring a measure of closure and healing to Michelle Marie Veal's family."

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