Alameda County authorities announced today that they have arrested two people in connection with the cold-case murder of 43-year-old Steven Rudiger in 1990. The case remained unsolved for 23 years, but DNA and other evidence led to the arrests of 58-year-old Cheryl Ann Drace and 50-year-old William Devincenzi last week, Alameda County sheriff’s Detective Greg Landeros said. Drace is Rudiger’s ex-wife, and Devincenzi is her new husband, according to the sheriff’s office.
Rudiger, who was a foreman at a body shop in Oakland, was found stabbed to death on Redwood Road in Castro Valley in December 1990, Landeros said. He and Drace had been married for five years, but had divorced several months before his death and they had a “very tumultuous” relationship that resulted in litigation over the sale of their Castro Valley home, according to Landeros. Rudiger and Drace were still living together after their divorce as they prepared to sell their home, but Drace married Devincenzi shortly before Rudiger was killed, he said.
Landeros said authorities had always suspected Drace and Devincenzi but didn’t have enough evidence to charge them until now. He said authorities believe the couple had a financial motive for killing Rudiger, and that they face a special-circumstance charge of committing murder for financial gain. Drace and Devincenzi were arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on the murder charges on Monday and are being held without bail.
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