The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public’s assistance with a 32 year old homicide investigation known as the Original Night Stalker case. On July 26th, 1981, 35 year old Cheri Domingo and 27 year old Gregory Sanchez were murdered while house-sitting a residence in the 400 block of Toltec Way, in Goleta. This homicide followed a double homicide that occurred in Goleta almost 18 months earlier. In that case, 44-year old Dr. Robert Offerman and 35 year old Alexandria Manning were murdered in a Goleta condominium on December 30th, 1979. Both homicide scenes are located within close proximity to each other and are believed to be linked to the same suspect.
In May of 2011, investigators with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office along with the California Department of Justice DNA laboratory in Santa Barbara were able to locate DNA evidence at the Domingo/Sanchez homicide scene. This same DNA profile has been linked to numerous rapes in northern California, including ones committed by the East Area Rapist in Southern Sacramento County in the late 1970’s, and the Original Night Stalker who was responsible for multiple murders in Ventura and Orange County in the 1980’s. Although a DNA profile exists for the suspect, his identity remains unknown.
Sheriff’s Investigators have reviewed the crime reports from these other agencies and discovered that traces of paint were located in two of the rapes and one of the homicide scenes in Irvine, California. This evidence is believed to have come from the suspect in all three cases. Sheriff’s investigators are now exploring the possibility that the suspect may have come to the area to work on a construction site, possibly as a painter.
In a new lead that could help identify the suspect, investigators found that the strip mall section at 5801 Calle Real, Goleta and the Longs Drug, located at 5875 Calle Real, initially had a building permit issued to a developer from Sacramento at the beginning of 1979. The final stages of the project, which would have included painting the building, occurred during the same time frame as the Offerman and Manning murders.
If you know of anyone who either worked on this construction site or has any information about employees who worked on this project, you are encouraged to call the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Bureau at (805) 681-4150 or the Sheriff's Anonymous Tip Line at (805) 681-4171.
*The Original Night Stalker serial killer should not be confused with serial killer Richard Ramirez who was frequently referred to as the Night Stalker during a deadly crime spree in California between June 1984 to August of 1985.