Arrest made in 31-year-old murder case
April 2, 2012
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – On March 28, Andrew Sanford, 51, of Carmichael, Calif., was arrested on suspicion of the Aug. 14, 1980, murder of 16-year-old Richard Swanson, according to a statement released today by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.
The arrest is the result of an ongoing investigation by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the California Department of Justice, and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, according to the statement.
“We want to thank the investigators, South Lake Tahoe Police Department and the El Dorado County District’s Attorney’s Office for pursuing this case and making this arrest possible,” Swanson’s parents, Ron and Sharon Swanson, said in the statement. “We have waited 31 years for this day, but we never gave up hope. It has been a long wait, but God told us to be patient and justice would come.”
Swanson’s body was found bound and gagged in the lube room of the South “Y” Shell Service Station at 6:50 a.m. on Aug. 14, 1980.
The murder shook the town.
“I remember it vividly,” said City Councilman Hal Cole. “It changed our little mountain town forever.”
“We were a small town. We didn’t lock our cars. Some of us didn’t lock our houses,” Cole added. “That kind of made us realize we were not as isolated as we thought.”
In 2007, Cole was a member of the City Council that voted to allocate special funds to the police department to continue the investigation into Swanson’s murder.
“I always felt uncomfortable knowing that this was never solved and that the family never knew who did it,” Cole said.
Sanford has been booked into Sacramento County Jail. Bail has not been set.
Specific details of the crime and investigation are not being released at this time, according to the statement.