Technological advances helped detectives crack a decades-old cold case that left a young mother dead on the side of the highway in a deserted area of Los Angeles County.
On the evening of Dec. 3, 1978 Leslie Long, 20, married and mother of three, was robbed by two men at gunpoint while working at a gas station in Palmdale. An "undisclosed amount of money" was taken from a safe.
Long's torment didn't end after the robbery. Instead, she was forced into a vehicle with the men, who then drove off with her south on the 14 Freeway toward Los Angeles, according to a news release.
Long was taken to a deserted area off the highway where she was brutally raped by both men and shot multiple times, subsequently resulting in her death.
During the manhunt for Long's killers in 1978, Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives came up empty and the case went dark for 28 years.
In 2006, Long's vicious attack was reviewed again and with the help of new technology, including DNA testing, detectives gained new leads and tips that they followed for many years.
On May 21, Neal Matthews, 58, of Lancaster, was arrested at his home in connection with the robbery, Long's kidnapping, rape and murder. Matthews appeared in court on May 26. He is currently being held without bail.
That same day, the LA County District Attorney's office filed an arrest warrant for Terry Moses, 59, in connection to the crimes committed against Long. Moses is currently serving a life sentence for an unrelated case. He is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.
At the time of Long's murder, both suspects were allegedly active gang members, according to a news release.
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Anyone with information about the case is asked to call LA County Sheriff's Department, Homicide Bureau Detective Steven Lankford at 323-890-5500.