Cold Case Detectives Solve 1993 Murder with DNA

June 3, 2005

Los Angeles: On June 3, 2005, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Cold Case Homicide Unit (CCHU), secured a felony criminal filing against Charles Augustus Jones for the 1993 sexually motivated homicide of 34-year-old Mara Robinson.
On June 9, 1993, the body of Mara Robinson was found in the restroom of a car wash at 1624 W. Florence Avenue. The victim was nude, and it appeared that she had been the victim of a sexually motivated homicide. The subsequent autopsy revealed that Mara Robinson had died as a result of blunt force trauma and strangulation. Ms. Robinson was seen last at a relative’s house on the evening of June 8, 1993. She left the house with known gang members.
No viable suspects were identified during the original investigation of Mara Robinson’s murder. Detectives from the CCHU reopened this investigation when they discovered that biological evidence had been recovered from the crime scene that could be analyzed for DNA. This evidence was processed and a full DNA profile was obtained. When this profile was uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a hit was obtained on Charles Augustus Jones, a 41-year old parolee.
The CCHU investigation revealed that Jones was a gang member who had a lengthy criminal record and had resided in Los Angeles, Detroit, and New Orleans. The CCHU detectives flew to New Orleans where they continued their investigation with the help of the New Orleans Police Department. As a result of this joint investigation, the New Orleans Police Department issued an additional arrest warrant for Jones on May 12, 2005, for a 1995 assault of a 38-year-old woman. In this case the victim escaped and survived, but the circumstances of the attack were quite similar to the Robinson murder.
Armed with this evidence, detectives returned to California. The California Department of Corrections violated Jones’ parole and picked him up. He is currently being held at the Chino State Prison. The investigation determined that Jones is a member of a South Los Angeles gang that is a rival to the gang members that were with Mara Robinson on the night she died. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has filed one count of murder with a special circumstances allegation, murder committed during a sexual assault.
Detectives Vivian Flores and Tim Marcia are handling this investigation.
Photographs of the suspect and victim will be provided to media outlets, upon request, by Media Relations Section.