Golden State Killer eliminated as suspect in cold case double murder of young mother and son

The suspected Golden State Killer has been cleared of two murders he was suspected of committing in 1978.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Joseph D’Angelo is no longer a suspect in the double murder of Rhonda Wicht, 24, and her 4-year-old son, Donald, in Simi Valley.

Wicht’s ex-boyfriend, Craig Coley, was convicted of the murders and severed more than 38 years of his prison sentence after DNA evidence believed to have been discarded resurfaced, showing that it was not Coley’s DNA found on the victim’s bed sheet. California Governor Jerry Brown pardoned Coley late last year.

Because of the timing of the double murder and similarities to other murders believed to have been part of the Golden State Killer’s spree, authorities believed D’Angelo may have been responsible for the brutal killing of Wicht and her son. But the DNA wasn’t a match for him, either.

“They conclusively eliminated him as a suspect,” Simi Valley Police Chief David Livingstone told the Los Angeles Times. “Once we follow and exhaust a lead, we move on.”

Authorities arrested D’Angelo, a former police officer, in April in a stunning development for the cold case killings. He is suspected of committing several dozen rapes and a dozen murders in the 1970s and early 1980s.