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:

• Andrea Lynn Hug, 30, of Garberville: Investigators found Hug’s body on a rocky beach north of Spooner’s Cove at Montaña de Oro State Park on Oct. 12, 1998. Her death was originally ruled an accidental fall, and the case was closed until January 2003, when the Sheriff’s Department determined further work was necessary. Investigators have interviewed Rex Krebs but found no connection between the convicted double-murderer and Hug’s death.

• Angel Cosio Sr., 47, and Angel Cosio Jr., 14. : The father and son were shot Aug. 22, 1998, near the entrance to a garbanzo bean field about 100 yards from Highway 101 in Nipomo. Detectives believe Angel Cosio Sr. fired a small-caliber handgun during the altercation and may have shot the car or the suspects. The dark-colored sport coupe thought to have been used by the suspects in the killing has not been located.

• Dorothy Tate, 40, of Estes Park, Colo.: Tate was shot in the head while in her van, located 21⁄2 miles north of Hearst Castle. Her body was found Nov. 15, 1983. Detectives then said their best lead was a camera stolen from Tate’s van. A few years after the homicide, detectives were able to trace the camera to a pawn shop. However, none of the transactions associated with it led to an arrest.

• Cheryle Ann Manning, 16, of McMinville, Ore.: The teenage hitchhiker was found shot in the head June 22, 1978, near Cuesta Summit. Investigators weren’t able to identify her for 14 years. In 1992, her name showed up in a national missing persons system. By that time, her father had suffered a stroke and died, and her mother had committed suicide.

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.