DNA Hit Solves a Cold Case

August 22, 2008

Los Angeles: Perseverance and the power of modern science brings some closure to a murdered victim’s family.

On June 3, 1989, 42-year old Rita Martin was found brutally stabbed to death in her apartment in the 8900 block of Owensmouth Avenue. Devonshire Division homicide detectives worked the original murder investigation and exhausted all possible leads. Unfortunately, the case went unsolved for some time.

In April 2008, one of the original case detectives, Peggy Moseley, began to re-investigate the murder. DNA obtained from a possible suspect was tested. The sample returned with a positive confirmation or “hit.”

The suspect was identified as 50-year-old Keith Lawasior Green. On Wednesday, August 20, 2008, Green was arrested in Los Angeles for the murder of Rita Martin. Green was taken into custody without incident and booked at LAPD’s Van Nuys Jail.

On August 21, 2008, the case was presented to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and one count of murder with special circumstances was filed against Keith Lawasior Green. He is being held without bail.

Detective Moseley spoke with Rita Martin’s family, who expressed gratitude and appreciation that Rita hadn’t been forgotten. They were very thankful for Moseley’s dedication and hard work in bringing the case to a conclusion.

For further information contact Devonshire Division homicide detectives at 818-832-0537 or Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586