21 Solved In ‘21 : Day 19 : Judy Nesbitt
On the evening of Wednesday, November 26, 1980, Judy Nesbitt was discovered dead aboard her family’s boat in a Newport Beach, California marina by her husband. She had gone to the boat to show it to a prospective buyer that afternoon. When she didn’t return home, her husband became concerned and went to search for her.
According to authorities, there was evidence of a struggle, and they believed robbery could have been a potential motive. This was based on her missing checkbook, credit cards, and cash. The marina itself was not gated off, nor did they have security. The only deterrent was signs saying the docks were private for boat owners and their guests only.
Hairs not belonging to Judy were left at the scene. In 2002, the roots of these hairs were used to create a limited DNA profile. This information was input into a centralized database, but no matches were found.
In 2018, an independent testing lab, Green Laboratories, extracted further DNA from the hair shafts for a more detailed DNA profile. From there, an investigator used genetic genealogy to identify Judy’s killer.
Judy’s killer was never once suspected throughout the entirety of the investigation, and evaded capture. He died of cancer in 1999.
Judy Nesbitt was 42 years old at the time of her death, and was mother to 3 sons and a daughter. The family had just purchased a new home and were planning to move at the time of her murder.