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David Misch charged in 1988 with kidnapping Michaela Garecht in Hayward, California

TThree decades after 9-year-old Michaela Garecht was kidnapped from a California street in broad daylight, police say they matched a fingerprint left on her scooter to her killer – a man who was almost in jail that long for three more murders.

The breakthrough, which investigators say was made possible by new fingerprint matching technology, was announced at a press conference Monday where Hayward Police Chief Toney Chaplin read a Heartbreaking statement from Michaela’s grateful but grieving mother.

“Over the past year, I had come to a point of acceptance that Michaela was probably no longer alive,” wrote Sharon Murch, who was recently diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

“But somehow that acceptance was much more tied to the idea of ​​Michaela sitting on fluffy pink clouds, walking golden streets, dancing on grassy hills, soaring among the stars. What I hadn’t considered was my daughter as a dead child.

“It was only when I heard this news that this view of reality appeared, and honestly, I didn’t understand what to do with it. A chill that had nothing to do with the snow in front of my house in southwest Iowa. I feel like I’m always looking for Michaela, but now I don’t know where. I honestly feel lost in the dark.

Michaela was abducted on November 19, 1988. She and a friend had driven their scooters to the Rainbow grocery store in their Bay Area town and went inside to buy some snacks. When they got out, one of the scooters had been moved into a space behind a parked car.

When Michaela approached to pick her up, the driver ambushed her, forced her into the car and fled. She has never been found.

Her mother never stopped pushing the police to keep looking for her daughter or the kidnapper, and they say they never did. But around the 30th anniversary of the kidnapping, they kicked the investigation into high gear and went through all the evidence, leads and witnesses.

This placed a man named David Misch at the scene, police said. And his name, along with the names of other people of interest, was given to Hayward’s fingerprint examiner for comparison with a fingerprint lifted from the scooter.

“She was able to match Misch’s fingerprints to those of the scooter. Their ability to compare prints has been dramatically improved through software, technology and science, ”Alameda District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a statement.

It was easy to find Misch. He has been in prison for 18 years for the murder of a woman in 1989. He is also awaiting trial for the double murder in 1986 of best friends Michelle Xavier, 18, and Jennifer Duey, 20, who subsequently disappeared. a birthday in Fremont and whose naked bodies were later found on the side of a road.

O’Malley has now charged Misch, 59, with kidnapping and murder in Michaela’s case.

“This crime shocked not only the local community, but the entire Bay Area and the nation,” O’Malley said. “I hope today’s action and announcement will bring some comfort to Michaela’s family knowing that justice will prevail, even after 32 years since this horrific crime.”

Murch, on his blog dedicated to Michaela, called Misch a “monster”.

“Seriously, what makes a human being do something like this?” What allows him to even do it? she asked.

The news that he had been identified as the alleged murderer had left Murch feeling “like I was walking lost,” she wrote.

“I’m looking, I’m looking again for the answers I thought I found, but all I can find right now is emptiness. There was this really great feeling that rolled around in me, creating a giant hole, and this morning I figured out what it was. It is a feeling that my daughter has been alone for these 32 years. While I ran to do interviews, write blogs, tie ribbons on trees, she was alone and cold.

She ended her entry with a heartbreaking apology to her child.

“And for Michaela, I’m so sorry baby. I feel like I let you down in a thousand ways. I was listening Help by Lauren Daigle yesterday. This was my song for you, and I fell apart because I couldn’t save you, because I could never save you.

“I wonder if God can save me? I’ve been trying to hold on to what has kept me going for quite some time now, and that is, I know you are a bright, shining light. You were a light to everyone who knew you while you were here in the world, and you have been a light even to countless strangers since you left. I’m going, we’re going to try to make that light shine for you.

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