Cold Case Closed: Placer Sheriff Says Inmate Also Shot Couple To Death In 1991

PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — A cold case arrest has been made more than two decades after investigators found a couple shot to death in their home.

Joseph Victor Foster, Jr. had been serving time in state prison for a different crime. Now, investigators say he shot and killed Jacqueline Barton and Hugh Gresham at their Ponderosa Way home in January 1991.

Foster was arraigned on Thursday, and the family of at least one of the victims watched. Investigators say it was evidence that was retested recently that linked them to their suspect.

“I’m walking on air right now because we can’t believe they got him,” said Bill Voyles.

He’s overwhelmed with pain and relief 24 years after he discovered his sister Jaqueline Barton and her boyfriend Hugh Gresham shot to death in their Weimar home.

It’s a day he relives again and again.

“Going down the hallway, finding them, I got down that, I go in my mind, in my sleep. Just nightmares,” he said.

After more than two decades and seemingly no leads, the Placer County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest of Joseph Victor Foster, Jr., a former friend of the family who would later turn into a career criminal.

Foster is already serving a life sentence for the rape and kidnapping of a family member in Modesto in 2006. He was convicted of similar charges in a 1994 incident. He served 11 years for that case.

Det. Bill Summers, who recently retired from the department was the detective that originally worked on the case. He says modern forensic science was the break they needed.

“It’s always a good feeling that when a case comes to a conclusion,” he said.

Voyles hopes Foster is convicted and put to death.

“Closure. I just hope his stay is a short one, I hope they give him the gas,” he said. “Don’t let that guy out again, don’t ever let him out again.”

Voyles says he remembers Foster coming over after his sister and her boyfriend’s murder, offering his condolences. But shortly thereafter, he says, Foster disappeared.


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