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A convicted child sex offender has been found guilty of kidnapping and brutally murdering a teenager as she babysat her sister’s kids in 1980.
After a half-day of deliberations, a jury in California's Contra Costa convicted Mitchell Lynn Bacom, Tuesday afternoon for the murder of 14-year-old Suzanne Bombardier, the Bay Area News Group reports.
“Yesterday would’ve been Suzanne’s 56th birthday,” Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons, who was credited with assisting in a break in the case in 2017 and is currently working on a book about it. “Today she received a belated birthday gift. I only wish it happened sooner.”
Bacom, 67, now faces a possible sentence of life without parole.
Bombardier was babysitting her older sister Stephanie Mullen’s kids when she was kidnapped. Her body was found four days later floating along the Antioch River. She had been raped her and stabbed once in the chest.
Bacom, whom Mullen had dated briefly, was arrested in 2017 after DNA linked him to her death; he'd previously been questioned in the original investigation in 1980.
During the trial, Bacom’s public defender Cynthia Scofield tried to argue another man that Mullen dated was responsible for the murder. She said that man showed up at Mullen’s home that day, intoxicated and begging for another chance.
Scofield previously argued in 2019 that it’s possible that her client may have had sexual contact with the victim after she died, not before.
Bacom had been convicted of sex offenses twice in the past, including a 1981 conviction for raping a minor under the age of 14. In the 1990s, he also discussed in media interviews that he had sexually assaulted and stabbed a woman in 1973, a case that drew comparisons to Bombardier's murder, the Bay Area News Group reports.
“I tried to kill her but my heart wasn’t really in it, so she lived,” he said at the time, according to the report.
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