Suspect Identified in 1997 Double Murder Case DNA Evidence Provides the Investigative Link NR09530rf

November 5, 2009

Los Angeles:  Today, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) North Hollywood Division detectives announced that a suspect has been identified through DNA evidence whom they believe is responsible for the brutal 1997 double murders of 57-year-old Nancy Boehm and her mentally impaired 23-year-old son, Shawn.

On Sept. 21, 1997, the bodies of mother and son were discovered inside their North Hollywood home in the 5700 block of Riverton Avenue.  They had been stabbed multiple times,and efforts to identify a suspect were  unsuccessful until now.

In 2005, the case was reexamined when DNA material was collected from Ms. Boehm’s fingernail clippings.  However, at that time, the samples were not suitable to be uploaded into the federal CODIS databank.  CODIS stands for Combined DNA Index System, and the CODIS software permits qualified DNA laboratories to share and compare DNA data related to crimes and convicted offenders.

In May of this year, detectives requested to once again take a look at the previously collected DNA samples.  This time, the results of the analysis met the CODIS standards.  A partial suspect profile was uploaded into CODIS and the suspect, 37-year-old Rafael Martinez, was identified.  Martinez is currently serving time in a California state prison, but was a local North Hollywood resident at the time of the murders.  The motive for the crimes is believed to be related to a business dispute.