|For Immediate Release
Case # 07WF2340
FUGITIVE DIES ON EVE OF CANADIAN SUPREME COURT REJECTION TO AVOID DEPORTATION TO ORANGE COUNTY FOR 1984 HUNTINGTON BEACH MURDER
*The death is under investigation in Canada and appears to be a suicide
SANTA ANA – A fugitive whose application was denied yesterday to avoid deportation from Canada to Orange County for a 1984 Huntington Beach murder died last night. Gerald Su Go, 53, formerly of Torrance, faced one felony count of murder with special circumstances for murder in the commission of rape, robbery, and burglary. If convicted, the defendant would have faced a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) intended to prove that on the evening of Nov. 14, 1984, Go entered the Huntington Beach Parkside Lane apartment of Elizabeth Hoffschneider. The victim did not know the defendant. Go raped or attempted to rape Hoffschneider before strangling and murdering her. He then fled the scene. The victim was discovered the following day.
The Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) investigated the case and collected evidence from the scene, but the case remained unsolved for 23 years. In 2005, Go’s DNA was entered into the national DNA database stemming from an unrelated sexual assault case, for which he was in prison. In October 2007, Go was deported to Canada, upon completing his sentence for that case.
HBPD began re-investigating the murder of Hoffschneider and obtained a DNA match linking Go to the murder of Hoffschneider in October 2007, six days after he had been deported to Canada.
The OCDA obtained a “Provisional Warrant” to have Go arrested by Canadian authorities, which is required pursuant to the extradition agreement between Canada and the United States. Go was arrested on the warrant by Toronto police on Oct. 25, 2007.
Since October 2007, OCDA has worked with Canadian authorities to have Go extradited to Orange County while the defendant appealed the extradition in Canadian court. Yesterday, May 13, 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada denied Go’s application to avoid deportation. He was expected to be extradited to Orange County in the next two weeks.
Last night, May 13, 2010, the defendant was taken to a hospital in Toronto, where he was declared dead. Go’s death, which appears to be a suicide, is under investigation by Canadian authorities. Upon receipt of Go’s death certificate, the Orange County case will be dismissed.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste of the Homicide Unit was prosecuting this case.