ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
December 18, 2014
Case # 14CF3982
MAN CHARGED FOR 1989 COLD CASE MURDER AFTER INVESTIGATION BY ORANGE COUNTY COLD CASE HOMICIDE TASK FORCE
*This is the first cold case investigation by OCHTF resulting in a murder charge
SANTA ANA – A man has been charged for a 1989 cold case murder as a result of extensive investigative work by the Orange County Cold Case Homicide Task Force (OCHTF). Douglas Gregory Gutridge, 63, Lodi, is charged with one felony count of murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. He is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 2, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
In June 1989, Gutridge, then 37 years old, is accused of murdering 35-year-old Carla Salazar inside her apartment in Santa Ana. The defendant is accused of providing information about the murder to the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) during the initial stages of the investigation. SAPD thoroughly investigated this case but did not have enough evidence to file charges against Gutridge.
In 2008, SAPD cold case detectives submitted forensic evidence collected from the murder scene to the Orange County Crime Lab (OCCL). As a result of the forensic examination, foreign male DNA associated to the homicide investigation was identified.
In November 2008, Gutridge is accused of participating in an interview with SAPD Cold Case Unit detectives and providing a sample of his DNA.
In July 2014, OCHTF was created and took over the investigation in this case. OCHTF detectives re-interviewed several witnesses and retired SAPD detectives who originally investigated this case. OCHTF forensic scientists also reexamined the evidence in this case and received support from OCCL detectives. OCHTF was submitted a report to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) after finding enough evidence to support filing a murder charge against the defendant.
On Dec. 9, 2014, OCHTF detectives went to interview Gutridge at his home in Lodi and subsequently arrested him.
The investigation in this case is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time.
A press conference will be held today, Dec. 18, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. in the SAPD Community Room, 60 Civic Center Plaza, located on Boyd Way and Civic Center Drive, to provide more information about the formation of OCHTF, its mission, and status of pending cases.
OCHTF is a law enforcement collaboration aimed at investigating and solving cold case homicides in Orange County. Task force members include the Anaheim Police Department, Fullerton Police Department, Huntington Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and SAPD.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff