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Truck driver from Texas charged in 1993 California killing

Arrest (FILE)
Posted at 3:45 PM, Jun 12, 2022

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A retired truck driver from Texas has been charged with killing a woman whose body was found along a freeway onramp in a Southern California desert nearly 30 years ago, prosecutors said.

Cold-case investigators used advances in DNA technology to link Douglas Thomas to the 1993 killing of Sherri Herrera, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Thomas is in custody in Titus County, Texas, awaiting trial for separate slaying in that state in 1992.

The 67-year-old was charged with Herrera's murder on Friday in Riverside, California, the DA's statement said. The murder count was filed with a special circumstance allegation that the killing occurred during the commission of a rape, prosecutors said.

It wasn't known Sunday if Thomas has an attorney.

When the Texas case concludes, he will be extradited to California to be tried in Herrera's killing.

Herrera, a 30-year-old mother of four from Tulare, California, was found dead on March 30, 1993 on an eastbound onramp to Interstate 10 near Desert Center in Riverside County.

DNA from the Texas slaying connected Thomas to Herrera's killing, investigators said.

Thomas traveled extensively throughout the U.S. during a 40-year career as a trucker, according to officials.