Sheriff’s unsolved case files pile up to 43 homicides

The county Sheriff’s Department has 43 unsolved homicide cases, including the March murder of Templeton resident Jerry Greer, from 1967 to today.

They are the cases the department has dealt with as a primary jurisdiction, in the county’s unincorporated areas. Some of the cases include:

A recent success

The 2004 arrest of a man charged with killing Cal Poly student Mary Catherine Waterbury in October 1985 was based on a DNA match in the state database.

Peter Derks was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing and raping Waterbury.

It was the first time in San Luis Obispo County that investigators made an arrest in a murder case based on a DNA match in the state database.

Waterbury died Oct. 19, 1985, after struggling with someone and having her face stuffed in the sand.

Derks, who had a 1973 rape conviction in Texas, was considered a suspect at the time, but deputies did not have enough evidence to make an arrest.