Thursday, October 18 , 2018, 9:18 am | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Victim’s Daughter Says Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect a ‘Huge Relief’

Debbi Domingo was just a teenager when her mother was brutally killed in their Goleta home

Cheri Domingo and Greg Sanchez were brutally murdered on July 27, 1981, in Domingo’s home on Toltec Way in Goleta by the Golden State Killer. Sacramento authorities announced Wednesday they arrested a suspect in the case.
Cheri Domingo and Greg Sanchez were brutally murdered on July 27, 1981, in Domingo’s home on Toltec Way in Goleta by the Golden State Killer. Sacramento authorities announced Wednesday they arrested a suspect in the case. (Contributed photo)
Debbi Domingo, whose mother was killed by the Golden State Killer, expressed ‘huge relief’ that a suspect has been arrested in the cold case. Click to view larger
Debbi Domingo, whose mother was killed by the Golden State Killer, expressed ‘huge relief’ that a suspect has been arrested in the cold case. (Contributed photo)

The news that Debbi Domingo had been waiting for, hoping for, much of her life came late Tuesday night.

The Golden State Killer, the prolific serial killer and rapist who had brutally murdered her mother nearly four decades ago, had finally been identified and captured, Sacramento authorities said.

“I thought it was too good to be true,” Domingo told Noozhawk during a phone interview from her Texas home. “I held off being excited until I was really, really sure.”

Then Wednesday morning, she received the confirmation that Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, of Citrus Heights, a community near Sacramento, was in custody, with authorities saying DNA evidence conclusively shows he is the Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist.

Domingo was a rebellious teenager — 15 years old — in the summer of 1981 when the man originally dubbed the Original Night Stalker — and then the Golden State Killer — broke into their residence on Toltec Way in Goleta and brutally murdered her mother, 35-year-old Cheri Domingo.

Also killed was Gregory Sanchez, 27, Cheri’s longtime on-again, off-again boyfriend, who apparently had stopped by to say goodbye before moving out of state.

Domingo had run off to a friend's house the night that the pair were savagely beaten, and Sanchez was also shot.

Another Goleta couple — Dr. Robert Offerman, 44, and Offerman's girlfriend, Alexandria Manning, 35 — had been similarly killed two years before.

Her mother’s violent death haunted Domingo for years, sending her into multiple tail-spins full of self-destructive behavior before she found her faith and got her life on track, she said.

In recent years, she has been active in the effort to learn the identity and fate of the man who took so much from her and dozens of other families.

All told, the Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist is suspected to be responsible for at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and more than 120 residential burglaries throughout California from 1976 to 1986, according to the FBI.

Debbi Domingo was 15 years old when her mother was brutally murdered. Click to view larger
Debbi Domingo was 15 years old when her mother was brutally murdered. (Contributed photo)

“It’s just a huge, huge relief…” Domingo said about learning of DeAngelo’s capture. “The sense of relief is overwhelming and it’s wonderful. I’ve spent over two thirds of my life wondering if we would ever get answers.”

There were times her hope waned that the killer would ever be found, Domingo said, “but I always believed ultimately we would have answers.

“I did allow myself to believe he was still alive.”

Domingo said she hopes to come to California for at least part of the court proceedings involving DeAngelo.

“I’m going to look him in the eye at some point, there’s no doubt,” she said.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert mentioned Domingo by name Wednesday during the press conference announcing DeAngelo’s arrest.

Schubert had recently received an email from Domingo saying, “This case will be solved because of sheer persistence.”

And it appears it was. 

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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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