The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office announced identification of a suspect in the cold case murder of Glendora resident Cynthia May Hernandez who disappeared nearly 40 years ago.
Authorities formally charged Larry James Allred, 61, with the murder of Hernandez. Allred is serving eight years at the California Institute for Men in Chino on unrelated charges, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.
Christopher Lee, Public Information Officer for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, could not confirm any other information regarding the case, specifically if the remains of Hernandez were located.
Allred was sentenced to eight years in prison after cutting a plea-bargain in March of 2013, accused of a scheme to import more than $200,000 in counterfeit Disney pins from China. Allred was a Walnut resident at the time, according to the OC Weekly.
Hernandez, 18, was last seen leaving her Glendora home August 26, 1976 and told family she was on her way to see a late showing of “The Omen” at the now defunct Fox Theater, 211 N. Azusa Ave., in Covina.
Her family is unclear if she even made it inside the theater, said Karen Theilen, a friend of the Hernandez family.
“Her car was found the next morning behind the theater by her brother. The one thing that stood out was how out of character this was for Cindy,” Theilen said in a previous email interview.
Hernandez’s brother went searching for her. He found her white ’63 Chevrolet station wagon backed into a parking space and unlocked behind the Fox Theater, according to information provided by the Doe Network.
Cynthia’s disappearance was deemed suspicious from the start.
A 1976 graduate of Charter Oak High School, Hernandez played volleyball, football and baseball and likely would have fought off an attacker, family told investigators.
Investigators initially suspected Hernandez could have been a victim of Manuel Trinidad Cortez, a man convicted of raping and killing two 11-year-old girls in Ashland, Oregon in 1979, according to a Eugene Register-Guard article from 1980.
Cortez spent time in California into 1977. He even confessed to the Oregon murders in a recorded interview with an Industry Sheriff’s deputy January 5, 1979. Cortez has not been charged with any other murders, however, and is currently serving a life sentence without parole.
Latent fingerprints were taken from Hernandez’s vehicle.
“My brother died when I was 19. My mom can go to Oakdale and visit his grave. I want the same for Cindy’s mom before she dies,” Theilen said.
Allred and another man were arrested in 1974 on suspicion of kidnapping a 17-year-old girl at knifepoint from the Montclair Plaza and later sexually assaulting her, according to a Progress Bulletin newspaper article dated May 15, 1974.
The case will be assigned to Deputy District Attorney Denise Yoakum who is assigned to the cold case unit.
Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab spoke exclusively with GCN regarding the case.
“In 2011, I was the Lieutenant in charge of the Detective Bureau and I reopened this case. There wasn’t much to go on, but family members were reinterviewed and leads were chased down,” Staab said. “About two years ago the case brought us to San Bernardino County, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department took over the investigation. I can’t tell you how grateful we are to SBSD and their outstanding and diligent work. Cynthia’s family can now move forward and perhaps find peace after all these years.”
As the investigation continues into the murder, no further details will be released, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said.
“Thanks to great investigative work of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the Glendora Police Department, we were able to identify the suspect who murdered young Cynthia forty years ago,” said District Attorney Mike Ramos.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Detective Patty Ruiz or Sergeant Greg Myler at (909) 387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.
Zak Bushey contributed to the story.
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