In this photo provided by the Seaside Police Department, interim Police Chief Nick Borges, second from right, and Detective Joshua Parker, right, stand next to a photo of Anne Pham outside Highland Elementary School in Seaside, Calif., on July 7. A 70-year-old Nevada man has been charged in the 1982 killing of the 5-year-old girl who disappeared while walking to her kindergarten class. (Seaside Police Department via AP)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

RENO — A 70-year-old Nevada man has been charged in the 1982 killing of a 5-year-old girl who disappeared while walking to her kindergarten class in California after detectives solved the case using DNA evidence, authorities said.

Robert John Lanoue, of Reno, Nev., was charged earlier this month in the killing of Anne Pham.

This undated booking photo provided by Washoe County Sheriff’s Office shows Robert John Lanoue, of Reno, Nev., who was charged in the 1982 killing of 5-year-old Anne Pham. He was due in court July 11 for a hearing about his extradition to Monterey County in California. (Washoe County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
 

Pham disappeared while walking to her kindergarten class at Highland Elementary School in Seaside, Calif., on Jan. 21, 1982. Her body was found two days later in the former Fort Ord.

The child had been kidnapped, sexually assaulted and strangled, California authorities said.

According to court records, Lanoue has waived extradition to Monterey County in California. As of July 11 he was still in the Washoe County jail.

Lanoue, who is a registered sex offender in Nevada, was 29 years old at the time of the girl’s killing and lived near her home in Seaside, said Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni.

The case was reopened in 2020 when investigators with the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office Cold Case Task Force worked with the Seaside Police Department to submit evidence from the case for DNA testing after receiving a grant to reopen cold cases.

Lanoue was charged with one count of first-degree murder, with special circumstance allegations that he murdered Pham while committing kidnapping and a lewd act on a child under the age of 14, said Pacioni.

It was not immediately known if Lanoue has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

On July 6, California investigators obtained a warrant for Lanoue’s arrest, Pacioni said. Lanoue was already in the Washoe County jail, where he was booked on June 8 for a parole violation, records showed.

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