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Rancho Cucamonga Man Charged In 2003 Killing Of Woman Found In San Diego Dumpster

SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) — Authorities have arrested a Rancho Cucamonga man in connection with his wife's death nearly 20 years ago, the San Diego County Sheriff's Office announced Friday.

Laurie Diane Potter
Laurie Diane Potter, 54, was killed in 2003 and her legs were found in a San Diego dumpster. Using genetic genealogy, investigators were able to identify her and on Friday announced her husband had been arrested in her killing. (CBSLA)

Jack Dennis Potter, 68, has been accused of killing 54-year-old Laurie Diane Potter, whose legs were discovered inside a dumpster in Rancho San Diego in October 2003.

Though investigators at the time were able to determine the remains belonged to an adult female victim of a homicide, the victim's identity and circumstances of her death remained a mystery until recently, the sheriff's department said.

According to sheriff's Lt. Thomas Seiver, the department used genetic genealogy testing — the same technology used to capture the Golden State Killer — to help identify the victim.

"This case was unlikely to have ever been solved without the use of investigative genetic genealogy," Seiver said.

According to authorities, Laurie Potter was never reported missing and those her family was unaware about her whereabouts, they believed she was still alive.

The department has not yet released a cause of death or suspected motive, but said investigators uncovered "substantial and conclusive evidence" that Potter killed his wife.

According to the criminal complaint charging Potter with murder, authorities believe the victim was killed shortly before she was found — either the day before or the day of — but did not specify how she died.

Potter was arrested Wednesday at his Rancho Cucamonga apartment, according to authorities, and was being held without bail at the San Diego Central Jail. He is expected to be arraigned next week.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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