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Suspect Arraigned in 1978 Marissa Harvey Sexual Assault, Murder Cold Case

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The suspect in the 1978 sexual assault and homicide of 15-year-old Marissa Harvey in San Francisco's Sutro Heights was arraigned Thursday morning.

In a press release, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office on Wednesday said the case sat cold for 43 years until a hit in a genealogy database linked DNA taken from the crime scene to 76-year-old Marc Stanley Personnette.

Personette was arrested in Conifer, Colorado, last December on suspicion of homicide in the death of Harvey. He did not enter a plea Thursday morning and will return to court on Friday.

Mark Stanley Personette
Mark Stanley Personette, 76, was arrested in Jefferson County, Colorado on Dec. 16, 2021 in connection with the March 1978 slaying of 15-year-old Marissa Rolf Harvey. (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)

Harvey traveled in 1978 from New York to San Francisco to visit family. She went to Golden Gate Park on March 27 but didn't return, police said. Her body was found in Sutro Heights Park on March 28, 1978.

At the time, the city's homicide detail investigated the case using the best available technology and exhausted every lead, Scott said.

The investigation, however, went cold until October 2020, when the department's homicide cold-case unit reopened the case, using advanced investigative methods employed by the department's forensic sciences division.

"For more than four decades, Marissa Harvey's family members have been relentless advocates to bring her killer to justice, and we hope this development in the case begins to bring a measure of healing and closure they've been too long denied," Police Chief Bill Scott said last December.

1978 Murder victim Marissa Harvey
Marissa Harvey (San Francisco Police Department)

"We are proud of our team and our collaboration with SFPD to solve this crime," said Boudin in the issued press release. "We will work to ensure that Mr. Personnette is held accountable for the brutal and heinous acts that took Marissa's life and to bring closure to her family, which has never stopped advocating for justice."

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