|For Immediate Release
Case # 12CF3159
December 13, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR 1988 COLD CASE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER FOR STRANGLING WOMAN TO DEATH DURING RAPE
SANTA ANA – A man will be arraigned tomorrow for the 1988 cold case special circumstances murder for strangling a woman to death during the commission of a rape. Daniel Edward McDermott, 44, Buena Park, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a rape. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. McDermott is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Dec. 14, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of 1988 Murder
During the early morning hours on Jan. 11, 1988, McDermott is accused of entering the home of 18-year-old Gehmine Chandler and raping her. During the rape, McDermott is accused of strangling the victim to death. At approximately 5:30 a.m., the victim’s father discovered the body and called the Buena Park Police Department (BPPD) who investigated the murder. Forensic investigators extracted a semen DNA sample using a sexual assault kit at the crime scene and uploaded it into the Combined DNA Index System and the National DNA Index System but the case went cold.
Re-opening of Cold Case
On Feb. 16, 2009, BPPD and Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Investigators reopened the case and re-interviewed family members and friends who had been named in previous police reports from 1998 in the Buena Park area.
On March 29, 2010, OCDA Investigators conducted a phone interview with McDermott. At the time, McDermott was residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
After conducting additional interviews, OCDA and BPPD investigators determined that McDermott’s DNA had not been obtained. On Oct. 23, 2012, OCDA and BPPD Investigators traveled to New Mexico to obtain McDermott’s DNA sample. McDermott is accused of agreeing to come into the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) station for a follow-up interview with a BPPD detective and submitting a DNA saliva sample.
At approximately 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2012, the Orange County Crime Lab completed their tests on the DNA sample and confirmed that it matched the unidentified semen DNA sample recovered from the sexual assault kit taken from the victim in 1988.
On Oct. 28, 2012, APD officers arrested McDermott. On Dec. 12, 2012, McDermott was extradited from New Mexico to Orange County.
BPPD and OCDA investigated this case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.