In July 1992, a farmworker in San Mateo County, California, found the body of 25-year-old Juliette Rivera near an irrigation pond. Her head had been bashed in on the left side with a blunt object and she was already in an advanced stage of decomposition, even though she had only been reported missing 10 days before she was found.
Police quickly zeroed in on a suspect: Gregory Marc Riviera. He was 50 years old at the time of Juliette’s murder and was an acquaintance of hers, Law & Crime reported. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office (SMCSO) found numerous inconsistencies in Riviera’s statement and issued a warrant for his arrest.
Riviera, however, had disappeared and his apartment in Alameda, California, was abandoned.
Thirty years passed without police arresting Riviera, until May 12, 2022, when the Merced County coroner contacted the SMCSO to tell them fingerprints from a transient who died on January 29, 2022, matched those of Riviera. The transient, however, went by the name Jon Paul, and the coroner had run his prints in an attempt to locate his family to tell them the tragic news of his passing.
Still, the fingerprints proved the man was actually Riviera, solving the decades-old cold case.
It turned out that Riviera had a brother named John Paul, and used that identity to evade capture for three decades.
Police spoke to John Paul’s daughter, who told them her father and uncle regularly used each other’s 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,” the SMCSO said in a statement to Patch.
In that same statement, the outlet noted, the SMCSO credited the Alameda Police Department, Merced County Sheriff’s Office and its coroner, as well as the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in solving the case.