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For week ended November 28, 1999 Posted 24 Feb 2001

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1988 Murder of LDS woman remains unsolved (Unsolved Mysteries --for Now)

Summarized by Kent Larsen

1988 Murder of LDS woman remains unsolved (Unsolved Mysteries --for Now)
Los Angeles Times 28Nov99 P2
By Daniel Yi: Times Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- The 1988 murder of LDS Church member Malinda Gibbons remains unsolved, despite the efforts of Orange County police. Lt. Ron Smith says that he remains haunted by the case, his first homicide case. "I would just love to crack this case like no other," he said recently.

Gibbons was 22 and had just moved to Orange County from Utah with her husband, Kent, following his graduation from the University of Utah. When Kent left for his first day of work at Western Digital in Irvine, California, his wife, who was expecting their first child, had planned to spend the day unpacking in their new Costa Mesa home. But when he returned that evening, he found his wife bound and gaged, raped and stabbed. She had bled to death from the wound.

Smith says that Gibbons may have left her front door unlocked, and there were no signs of forced entry or physical struggle. He says that the police remain committed to solving the crime, in spite of 11 years of frustration, "We have gone through every parolee in the area at the time, sex offenders, checked for similar crimes across Orange County and the nation," he said. "We don't have a good suspect yet, but I don't want the crook to think we are not on to him."

Smith says that solving the crime may be just a matter of time, "Every day there is something going on in this case. There are many more people to track down."

Gibbons was the oldest of five children in a Harrisville, Utah family. Her brother, Mathew Godfrey, says the family is over their grief, "Our family has put this behind us . . . but we are still hopeful the perpetrator will be caught. Not from a vindictive standpoint, but we would hate for something like this to happen to anyone else."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information