SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Detectives have arrested a Sacramento man for the murder of a teenage girl at a baseball field dugout in 2012.
During a press conference Thursday, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Detective Tony Turnbull identified 23-year-old Ryan Douglas Roberts of Sacramento as the suspect in the murder of 13-year-old Jessica Funk-Haslam.
On March 6, 2012 at around 6:30 a.m., a woman walking in Rosemont Community Park found the teen’s body lying in the dugout of a baseball field. She had been beaten, choked and stabbed in the neck.
Turnbull said DNA gathered at the scene shortly after the discovery linked Roberts to the murder 17 months later. It wasn’t until Wednesday that the Sacramento Crime Lab received a match from Roberts, who had just been arrested on unspecified charges.
Roberts was released from custody and investigators worked quickly with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office to prepare for the arrest. Roberts was later arrested at work for Funk-Haslam’s murder and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail.
Funk-Haslam left her home on March 5, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. to meet a friend at the park, says Turnbull. She took the light rail train and a bus, which dropped her off near the park. She was last seen alive on surveillance video between 6:20 and 6:30 walking in the direction of the park.
News of the arrest came earlier in the day from Funk-Haslam’s father, Allen Porter, who received a call just after midnight from the sheriff’s department. Porter says he does not know Roberts, but is relieved at the thought Roberts could be locked up for good.
“There’s no reason that I can see.”
The investigation is ongoing; however, detectives are not looking for any other suspects in the case.
Court records indicate Roberts pleaded no contest to a DUI charge in 2009 and was subsequently sentenced to three years in the Sheriff’s Work Program.
Roberts is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
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