Slaying victim’s parents pleased with police progress
Striking a much different chord than during his first appearance before the city council in December 2006, the father of the victim in a nearly 30-year-old slaying praised the South Lake Tahoe Police Department on Tuesday.
“Thirteen months ago, we came before the city council to vent our anger and frustration regarding the lack of investigation and follow-up after the murder and robbery of our 16-year-old son, Richard Swanson, on Aug. 14, 1980,” Ron Swanson said, with his wife, Sharon, in the audience.
The Swansons’ son, Richard, was working the night shift as a clerk at a Shell gas station at the “Y” when he was bound and gagged during a robbery, according to police. Swanson suffocated on his gag, and the killer has yet to be found.
After the December 2006 council meeting, the Swansons met with South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Terry Daniels, who committed to a re-examination of the case.
“He has followed through on his commitment, and the results have been astounding,” Ron Swanson said.
Daniels assigned Detective Chuck Owens to the case, and a retired FBI agent, Jeff Rinek, was brought in to assist in the investigation.
Owens gave limited details about the progress of the investigation Tuesday, saying the reignited search for the killer has taken investigators to three states in search of information.
“We do have suspects in this case,” Owens said.
The detective is hopeful Richard Swanson’s killer will be brought to justice, and so are the Swansons.
“After waiting 27 years for a proper investigation, during the past year our faith has been restored,” Ron Swanson said Tuesday.
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