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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 10:47 pm | Fair 48º


Suspect Pleads Guilty to 1997 Santa Barbara Homicide

(Linda Louise Archer )

The suspect in the 1997 homicide of Santa Barbara woman Linda Archer has pleaded guilty, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday. 

Manuel Salmeron Manzanares pled guilty to murder in the second degree and admitted the special allegation of using a deadly weapon in the murder of Archer, who was homeless at the time and whose body was found not far from her campsite near the southbound off-ramp at Castillo Street on August 16, 1997. 

According to the DA’s office, the trail had gone cold in the case, but the DNA profile from underneath Archer’s fingernails was submitted in 2013 to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS.

The profile matched that of Manzanares, who was known by law enforcement to have been in the Santa Barbara area at the time of the murder, the statement said.

Santa Barbara police detectives learned in June 2014 that the suspect was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at Lompoc, and was scheduled to be released in June 2015.

Manzaneres was interviewed by detectives at the penitentiary shortly after, and it was “during this interview Manzanares ultimately confessed to the murder of Ms. Archer,” the statement said.

(Manuel Salmeron Manzanares)

He was subsequently charged with murder and brought to the Santa Barbara County Jail in June of 2015. 

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley commended the investigative work of the Santa Barbara Police Department, and said that “justice has finally been served for the heinous murder of Linda Archer.

“It is my hope that this will bring some closure to Ms. Archer’s family after so many years of suffering,” Dudley said.

Manzanares will be sentenced in Santa Barbara Superior Court on Dec. 1, 2015.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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