20-year-old Homicide Case Solved by LAPD Detectives and Results in Arrest of Suspect

February 11, 2003

Press Conference to Announce Arrest of Edmund Jay Marr for the 1983 Murder of Elaine Graham

LAPD Chief of Police William J. Bratton LAPD
Detectives (Former and Present) Assigned to this Murder Case
Dr. Stephen Graham (Husband of Murdered Victim)
Ms. Kit Chambers (Murdered Victim’s Childhood Best Friend)
Representatives from the LA County District Attorney’s Office

Wednesday, February 12, 2003; 11:45 A.M.

Parker Center (In Front)
150 North Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles: On Monday, February 10, 2003, outside of his residence in Cathedral City, California, Los Angeles Police Department Detectives assigned to Robbery Homicide Division, arrested 45-year-old Edmund Jay Marr for the brutal 1983 murder of Elaine Graham. At  the time of her death, Elaine was 29-years-old.

On the morning of March 17, 1983, Elaine Graham, dropped off her 2-year-old daughter at a babysitter’s house and left for California State University Northridge, where she was scheduled to attend classes. Elaine Graham was never again seen alive and her 1971 Volkswagen was discovered abandoned in the parking lot of the Santa Ana Fashion Square Mall (now known as the Main Place Mall) in the early morning hours of March 18, 1983.

Robbery-Homicide Division assumed investigative responsibility for this case. The detectives originally assigned to this case focused their investigation on a 25-year-old male named Edmond Jay Marr. This suspect came to the attention of detectives when it was discovered that he had been in proximity to the Northridge Campus the day that Graham disappeared and then showed up at his sister’s residence in Santa Ana (five blocks from the Fashion Square Mall) on the night of March 17, 1983.

The investigation also revealed that Marr had been arrested on April 22, 1983, for a robbery that had occurred in the City of Westminster. At the time of the robbery arrest, Marr was found to be in possession of a double-edge dagger. Detectives interviewed Marr, however, he denied knowing anything about the disappearance of Graham, whose body, at this point, had not been found.

Eight months after her disappearance, hikers in the Brown’s Canyon area of Chatsworth discovered Elaine Graham’s skeletal remains.

During the course of their investigation, detectives learned that Marr, as a youth, frequented the Brown’s Canyon. A forensic examination of Graham’s remains revealed that she had suffered a fatal stab wound. Following this discovery, Scientific Investigation Division tested the dagger recovered from Marr, at the time of his robbery arrest, for the presence of blood. Using conventional serology, it was determined that there was blood on the dagger and that the blood was consistent with that of Elaine Graham’s.

In 1984, the investigating detectives discussed this case with members of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The decision was made not to file criminal charges against Edmond Marr at that time, but to wait for advances in forensic technology. During the interim time, the original detectives assigned to this case, Paul Tippin and Leroy Orozco, retired from the Department.

In November 2001, the Cold Case Homicide Unit (CCHU) was formed within Robbery-Homicide Division. One of the cases reopened by the CCHU was the Elaine Graham murder investigation. Detectives Rick Jackson and Tim Marcia began reinvestigation of the Graham murder case. During the course of their investigation, the detectives uncovered new evidence through both witness interviews and the application of new forensic procedures. On the forensic front, Scientific Investigation Division was able to employ DNA technology that was not available to the original detectives. The application of this technology was able to uncover new forensic findings.

As a result of this investigation and arrest, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Forensic Sciences Section has drafted a complaint in Case No. PA043262, charging Edmond Marr with the March 17, 1983, kidnapping and murder of Elaine Graham. Due to the  court holiday on Wednesday, the complaint will be filed in the North Valley District of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in San  Fernando on February 13, 2003. Marr is being held on a one million-dollar bond.

Booking photographs of arrestee, along with original Missing Person’s bulletin, will be made available to the media.

This release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section 213-485-3586.