30-Year-Old Cold Case Closed With Surprise Discovery

Killer assumed his brother's identity and lived as a transient for decades, say investigators
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2022 9:15 AM CDT
30-Year-Old Cold Case Closed With Surprise Discovery
   (Getty/carlballou)

(Newser) – Detectives in Alameda, California, say Abraham Riviera got away with murder—but he had to give up his identity and live as a transient for decades to do so. Police say that Riviera, then 50, killed 25-year-old Juliette Rivera in 1992, then disappeared when detectives zeroed in on him as the primary suspect, reports CBS San Francisco. The trail went cold, even though the case was featured on the likes of America's Most Wanted, per Law & Crime. No sign of Riviera, who also went by Gregory Marc Riviera, surfaced—until the death of a transient known as "Jon Paul" earlier this year, per the Half Moon Bay Review.

When authorities did a fingerprint check to help them identify the transient's relatives, they discovered that "Jon Paul" was actually Riviera, they announced this week. Detectives also learned that Riviera had a brother named John Paul, who is still alive but in poor health. The latter's daughter told authorities that her father and uncle swapped identities to evade police. "Based on this investigation with the identity of suspect Abraham Rivera AKA Gregory Marc Riviera AKA Jon Paul, finally located and now deceased, this case is closed,” declared the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, per Patch. (Read more cold cases stories.)

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