Ohio Man Arrested After Being Linked to 1978 Cold Case Murder NR11366rh

August 8, 2011

Los Angeles:   Detectives from the Cold Case Homicide Unit of Robbery-Homicide Division have announced the arrest of an Ohio man for a previously unsolved 1978 Los Angeles Murder.

On August 8, 2011, at around 10:30 a.m., eastern standard time, detectives from the Delaware Police Department, in Delaware Ohio, arrested 62-year-old Walter Randolph Peartree at his home on a Los Angeles County murder warrant obtained by Los Angeles Police Department detectives.  

The Ohio detectives have been assisting the Los Angeles Cold Case detectives in investigating the 1978 murder of 52-year-old James Gentry.  A friend discovered Gentry, a business executive, murdered in his Westside residence in the 3100 block of Kelton Avenue on April 10, 1978.

The Cold Case detectives linked Peartree to the crime after screening the 1978 unsolved case and having related evidence analyzed with technology not available in 1978.  Peartree, originally from Virginia, has been living in various locations in Ohio since the mid-1990’s.  Peartree’s extradition to California is pending his court appearances in Ohio.

Detectives handling the investigation are Detectives Rick Jackson and Elizabeth Estupinian, Robbery-Homicide Division, Cold Case Special Section at 213-486-6825 or 213-486-6810. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800)-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most key pads) using a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters can also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “web tips” and follow the prompts.