Two men have been arrested for the murder of a Vallejo woman whose body was found 25 years ago near Petaluma, a Sonoma County sheriff’s sergeant said this morning. Fausto Chavez, 49, and Josafat Presencion, 47, are suspected of strangling 26-year-old Wynetta Davis, Sgt. Carlos Basurto said. Davis’ body was found on May 13, 1988, floating in a large livestock water trough in the 3100 block of Pepper Road west of Petaluma, Basurto said.
The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation through strangulation, and she was identified through fingerprints, Basurto said. Davis’ mother reported her missing on May 16, 1988. She said her daughter had last been seen walking to a store on the evening of May 11, Basurto said. Chavez and Presencion are originally from Mexico, but they were living in Vallejo at the time of the murder, Basurto said.
In May 2010, detectives with the sheriff’s violent crimes unit reviewed evidence in the unsolved murder. The evidence was sent to the Department of Justice lab for DNA testing, and in February and March 2011, Chavez and Presencion were identified as potential suspects, Basurto said. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office then obtained warrants for their arrests. Chavez was arrested and booked into Sonoma County Jail in July and Presencion was booked in August.
The sheriff’s office has not released additional information on the arrests. Both have been charged with murder and both pleaded not guilty on Aug. 16. They are scheduled to return to court on Nov. 1.
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