Pictured (from top): Alfredo Prieto, Stacey Siegrist and Anthony Gianuzzi.
Riverside County sheriff’s detectives today named a prolific killer from Pomona as a suspect in the unsolved slayings in 1990 of four people from Ontario and Montclair.
Investigators from the department’s Cold Case Unit identified 44-year-old Alfredo Prieto as the killer through DNA testing that was completed last month, according to a news release.
Prieto’s DNA was found at the Rubidoux crime scene where the bodies of a young couple — Stacey Siegrist, 19, and Anthony Gianuzzi, 21 — were discovered by a jogger on May 5, 1990.
Siegrist, of Montclair, and Gianuzzi, of Ontario, were each shot twice. Siegrist was also sexually assaulted, according to the news release.
Through ballistics testing, investigators discovered that the weapon used to kill Siegrist and Gianuzzi was also used in the double slaying in June 1990 of Ontario residents Lula Farley, 71, and her husband Herbert Farley, 65.
A gunman — believed to be Prieto — shot and killed Lula Mae Farley in an alley behind an Ontario supermarket where she and her husband were collecting recyclables, according to 1990 news coverage. Herbert Farley was abducted and later found shot to death in Rubidoux.
Prieto, identified by authorities as a Pomona Northside gang member, has been linked to nine killings in California and Virginia between May 1988 and September 1990, according to the news release.
He was sentenced to death in 1992 for the Sept. 2, 1990 rape and murder in Ontario of 15-year-old Yvette Woodruff. That case is “going through the appellate process,” the news release said.
Three years ago he was convicted of murdering two people in 1988 in Virginia, a crime that investigators linked to him through DNA evidence.
Last week a jury in Fairfax County, Virginia recommended Pietro be put to death for the murders of Rachael Raver and Warren Fulton III, both 22. A judge may impose the sentence Dec. 16, according to the Washington Post.
Sgt. Scott Brown said that even if Prieto is charged in Riverside County, it’s unlikely he will return to California to be prosecuted.
Authorities in Virginia have said they will likely execute Prieto within five to seven years if the death penalty is imposed, and will not release him to California if his appeals here are still pending, Brown said.
Authorities in Virginia believe Prieto killed two other people there in the late 1980s. He has not been charged in connection with those killings.
Abduction and killing
Siegrist and Gianuzzi were last seen together the evening of May 3, 1990. Two days later, a jogger discovered their bodies along a dirt service road in Rubidoux near the intersection of Canal and Alta streets.
According to the news release, Siegrist was sexually assaulted and shot in the side of her head and the back of her neck.
Gianuzzi’s wrists and feet were bound, and he had been shot in the back of the head and the back of the neck, according to the news release.
Detectives submitted evidence to a Texas laboratory this year that had been recovered from Siegrist’s body. Testing showed that the evidence contained Prieto’s DNA, according to the news release.
Detectives said they will seek murder charges against Prieto for Siegrist and Gianuzzi’s killings. It’s unknown when the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office will reach a decision in the case, according to the news release.
Siegrist’s family members released a statement this afternoon reacting to the identification of a suspect in Siegrist’s killing.
“We are relieved to know one of the persons involved has been caught,” the statement said. “However, closure is something families of murder victims will never have.
“Stacey was so full of life and so loved by her family. She had a lot of life left to live, that’s the real tragedy: a young person taken away before they’ve even had a chance to live.
“To have a loved one taken in such a brutal way has been too much to bear. No family should ever have to deal with that. The pain we’ve suffered is tremendous and never ending.
“You try to live with it, but it’s always there. All we have left of Stacey are our memories. Her smile, her laugh, we will never forget her and we will always miss her.
“Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes out to the Riverside (County) sheriff’s Cold Case Unit for their diligence with this case and hearts go out to the families of the other murder victims. To any other families that are going through this, don’t ever give up hope.”
Investigators believe one or two other people were involved in Siegrist and Gianuzzi’s killings, and urge anyone with information about the case to contact sheriff’s Investigator John Powers at 951-955-2777.
Ambushed in Ontario
On June 2, 1990, Lula Mae and Herbert Farley were ambushed by at two men as they foraged for cans behind a now-closed Alpha Beta supermarket on Mountain Avenue in Ontario.
Three witnesses told police that one man shot and killed Lula Mae Farley as the other man punched Herbert Farley inside the couple’s car.
The car then sped away with Herbert Farley and the two attackers inside, according to archived news coverage of the case.
Two hours later the car was found abandoned in Mira Loma. Herbert Farley’s body was not found until four days later. He had been shot to death and dumped in Rubidoux.
Six weeks after the killings, Steven Richard Valdez of Ontario, then 19, was charged with murdering the couple. The prosecution was dropped after a key witness was inconsistent in identifying Valdez as the shooter.
Brown said that Riverside County sheriff’s detectives will soon visit Prieto in Virginia to try to interview him about his suspected killings in California, as well as other potential crimes.
Brown said Prieto’s motive in many of the cases in unclear, and can only be understood by investigators if stated by Prieto himself.
“Prieto is the only one that car reveal this to us,” Brown said.
Alfredo Prieto: A bloody trail
Source: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and news archives.
May 10, 1988: DNA evidence has linked Prieto to the rape and shooting death of Tina Jefferson, 24, in Arlington, Virginia. Prieto has not been charged.
Dec. 3, 1988: Rachael Raver and Warren Fulton III, both 22, were shot to death in Reston, Virginia. Raver was also sexually assaulted. Prieto has been convicted of murdering Raver and Fulton, and a jury this month recommended he be put to death. A judge may impose the sentence Dec. 16.
Sept. 2, 1989: Manuel F. Sermeno, 27, was shot to death and discovered inside a burning car in Prince William, Virginia. Ballistics testing has linked Prieto to the case, but he has not been charged. Authorities in Virginia have said he’s unlikely to be prosecuted if sentenced to death for Raver and Fulton’s killings.
May 5, 1990: Stacey Siegrist, 19, and Anthony Gianuzzi, 21, were found shot to death in Rubidoux. Siegrist was also sexually assaulted. The couple had last been seen two days earlier and their car was discovered in Montclair. Riverside County sheriff’s investigators announced Tuesday that Prieto’s DNA was recently found on evidence from the crime scene.
June 2, 1990: Lula Farley, 71, and her husband Herbert Farley, 65, were ambushed by two men as they collected recyclables behind a supermarket in Ontario. Lula Farley was shot to death, and Herbert Farley was abducted and later found shot to death in Rubidoux. Prieto has been linked to the case through ballistics testing.
Sept. 2, 1990: Prieto and two other people kidnapped three people in Ontario during a burglary. Prieto sexually assault and fatally shot Yvette Woodruff, 15. The other two men sexually assaulted the other two women, then tried to kill them by repeatedly stabbing them. The women survived the attack. All three men were convicted and Prieto was sentenced to death.