California man arrested in 1973 cold case murder of Stanford graduate, police say

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A California man was arrested Tuesday in the 1973 killing of a Stanford graduate, whose body was found strangled and sexually assaulted miles from campus.

John Arthur Getreu, 74, of Hayward, was held without bail at the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office’s Main Jail on suspicion of killing Leslie Marie Perlov four decades ago, according to the Mercury News.

Getreu was arrested months after police submitted DNA samples from the Perlov case to Parabon NanoLabs, which uses DNA samples and genealogical mapping to produce a suspect profile and possible identity, the newspaper reported. The lab also collaborated with authorities to help identify a suspect in the Golden State Killer murder mystery earlier this year.

Investigators submitted evidence to the lab for analysis, Santa Clara County’s deputy district attorney told the Mercury News in July without specifying which cases authorities were zeroing in on. Parabon’s report helped identify Getreu as a suspect in Perlov’s murder.

“Upon receiving Parabon’s report, sheriff’s office investigators continued to investigate the murder of Leslie Perlov. As a result, John Arthur Getreu was identified as a suspect in our investigation,” authorities said in a news release. It wasn’t immediately known how they acquired Getreu’s DNA.

Perlov was a Stanford graduate and was studying to become a law student when she disappeared from campus at about 3 p.m. on Feb. 13, 1973.

Three days later, authorities on horseback found her body underneath a tree, strangled, with her pantyhose stuck in her mouth and her skirt pulled up, according to the Mercury News.

There had been no breaks in the case until Tuesday.

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