Case # 19HF0192

February 21, 2019


Melanie Eustice

Heather Rangel


Chief of Administration and Public Affairs

Press Information Officer


Orange County District Attorney

Newport Beach Police Department







Seeking Additional Witnesses: Man Arrested for Newport Beach Cold Case

Arrested: James Alan Neal, AKA James Albert Layton, Jr.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Newport Beach Police Department are releasing a vintage photo of James Alan Neal, also known as James Albert Layton, Jr., to seek potential additional witnesses who may have seen Mr. Neal at or around the time of the murder. The Newport Beach Police Department asks that anyone who has further information concerning this investigation to call the NBPD Cold Case Tip Line at 949-644-3669.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office along with the Newport Beach Police Department announced at a joint press conference on Feb. 20, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. that James Alan Neal was identified as the suspect in the abduction, sexual molestation, and murder of 11 year-old Linda Ann O’Keefe after a tireless and exhaustive investigation that lasted for more than 45 years.

As mentioned at the press conference, Newport Beach Police Department detectives broke the case through genetic genealogy techniques after receiving an investigatory lead from FamilyTreeDNA’s Gene-by-Gene, LTD. laboratory of Houston, Texas with further assistance from genetic genealogist CeCe Moore of Parabon NanoLabs, Inc. of Reston, Virginia.

At the time of the murder, James Alan Neal was known as James Albert Layton, Jr., not James Alan George Layton as previously reported. A vintage photo of Mr. Neal that may depict what he looked like at the time of the murder is being included with this press release. The exact date of this photo is unknown, however it was likely taken during the time period of the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Newport Beach Police Department would like to once again thank our law enforcement partners the Orange County Crime Lab, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Colorado Springs Police Department, and El Paso County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance and commitment to this investigation.