Los Angeles: On December 18, 1975, 80-year old Alice Lewis, was found dead inside her residence in the Venice area of Los Angeles. Although an extensive investigation was conducted, no viable suspects were identified during the original investigation, and the case remained unsolved for over 33 years.
In 2003, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department Robbery-Homicide Division’s, Cold Case Homicide Unit submitted a request to have biological evidence recovered from the Lewis crime scene analyzed for the presence of DNA. Subsequently, foreign DNA was found and the genetic profile was uploaded in California’s Department of Justice CODIS databank.
In 2009,cold case detectives received information that a potential suspect had been identified via a “cold hit” DNA match. This new investigative lead caused detectives to reopen the Lewis investigation. After conducting an in-depth investigation, detectives developed sufficient evidence suggesting that Dennis Vasquez, who was 17-years old at the time of the crime, was responsible for the
On September 8, 2009, Vasquez was arrested at his Los Angeles residence and the Los Angeles County District Attorney filed formal charges. As detectives continued their investigative efforts,they developed a suspicion that Vasquez did not act alone in this heinous crime. Based on additional forensic analysis Detectives established probable cause to believe that Kevin Michael Shanahan, who was 15-years old in 1975, also participated in the murder in addition they have established that in 1975 Shanahan and Vasquez were close friends and both lived in close proximity to Lewis.
On December 12, 2010, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges against Shanahan. He is currently in custody in Olmstead, Minnesota pending extradition to Los Angeles County.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to call LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division Cold Case Homicide Unit Detective Tim Marcia at 213-486-6810. During off-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “Crimes” with a cell phone or log on towww.lapdonline.org and click on web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.” Tipsters may remain anonymous.