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Arizona man arrested, extradited to Nevada 1979 murder



A 73-year-old Arizona man was extradited to Nevada on Friday to face charges in 1979 for killing a woman last seen in California – and investigators believe he may be responsible for more deaths. [19659002] Charles Gary Sullivan was indicted in August on a charge of open murder in the death of Julia Woodward, 21, whose body was found in a shallow grave in a remote area about 15 miles north of Reno. He is scheduled to be held on Tuesday.

ABC 15 in Phoenix reported, citing law enforcement sources, that Sullivan may be linked to other murders in Arizona.

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  Charles Gary Sullivan

Charles Gary Sullivan
(Washoe County Sheriff's Office)

"Defendant, Charles Gary Sullivan, in or about 1979, in County Washoe, Nevada, made knowingly, feloniously, without authority and with pretreatment, awareness, and malice as previously mentioned, and / or in the request or attempt to commit a sexual assault, kill Julia Woodward by striking her with a rock, "was accused according to KOLO-TV.

The statement announcing Sullivan's arrest said a Washoe County sheriff's detective who was investigating the cold case requested further forensic analysis of the evidence and that it identified Sullivan as a possible suspect.

Woodward was last seen alive on February 1, 1979, at San Francisco Airport while traveling to Reno. Her body was found in Hungry Valley's Eagle Canyon. Police said her eyes were sealed with bandages and her legs were zip-tied.

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The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Woodward disappeared after she went to Nevada to look for job opportunities in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area. She previously lived with her parents in San Rafael, California.

The unsolved homicide website at the Washoe County Sheriff's Office said the body of another victim, Jeannie Smith, 17, was found Nov. 2, 1979, buried about a mile from where Woodward's body was found.

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Sullivan has not been indicted in the case of Smith, who was last seen in 1978 in Reno.

In 2007, Sullivan was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison after being convicted of false imprisonment and made a criminal threat after handcuffs and zip-tying a 25-year-old Eureka Calif woman, who was hoisting near Interstate 80 in Nevada county, according to KOLO.

She managed to escape the grip of Sullivan and was rescued by two men who happened to drive past in an off-road vehicle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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