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DNA evidence links man to a mom’s kidnapping, rape & murder almost 40 years later

A 60-year-old man was convicted on Thursday by a Los Angeles County jury, almost 40 years after he raped, murdered, and kidnapped a young mother.

KTLA reports that the jury found Neal Antoine Matthews guilty of first-degree murder and guilty of “murder during a rape, robbery, and kidnapping”

The victim, Leslie Long, 20 at the time, was working at a Chevron gas station on Dec. 3, 1978, when Matthews walked in during her shift and robbed her, then kidnapped her. A customer who walked in the gas station shortly after phoned the police and told them the gas station was empty.

Posted by The Family of Leslie Karen Long on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

 

When authorities arrived to the gas station, they found the safe opened with coins scattered around, and Long’s purse still sitting close to her work area. Outside, they noticed Long’s car was still parked behind the gas station. They found her lifeless body a few days later, around eight miles from the gas station in Acton, California, off of 14 Freeway at Soledad Canyon Road. Detectives said she was likely shot and killed in the same area.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Matthews didn’t act alone. Terry Moses, 60, an accomplice to the crime, took a plea deal in 2016 for Long’s murder. Moses also pleaded guilty to murdering other victims in separate cases, including the murders Carlton Goodwin and Michael Fuqua on Aug. 22, 1976. He also attempted to kill Kenney Guevara in 1996.

More than 38 years after the tragic events that took Leslie Long, her killers have been brought to justice. Thanks to…

Posted by The Family of Leslie Karen Long on Thursday, September 21, 2017

 

Initially, authorities thought two California inmates who escaped from prison three days prior to Long’s murder were the ones responsible. Authorities later captured the inmates and DNA testing excluded them in 2011. When authorities found DNA matches to Matthews and Moses in 2015, they arrested both men.

It’s still unclear whether prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty for Matthews. He’s scheduled for sentencing on November 6. Moses was sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole.

[Feature Photo: Family Handout]