YUBA CITY (CBS13) – After six long years, police made an arrest in the murder case of a 94-year-old woman. Armando Cuadras was arrested in Yuba City for the brutal death of Leola Shreves.
“In my 30 years here, this was probably one of the top 10 most horrific cases,” said Sgt. Steve Thorton with the Yuba City Police Department.
He said her murder has always been on their minds.
“This one has never been put on the shelf,” Thorton said.
At 94, Shreves was full of life. Friends and family lovingly called the sweet lady “Dode.”
“Her loss was incredibly hard for me,” her granddaughter Phyllis Gore said.
She will never forget that fatal phone call she received in January of 2013.
“I collapsed in my office, I just couldn’t believe it was true. I could never fathom that something like that could happen to my grandma,” Gore said.
The day after Dode’s murder, CBS13 interviewed the neighbor. He was later arrested after copping to the crime and spent 3 years in jail before investigators found his DNA was not a match and that he lied. Then, all leads grew cold.
“Every time something new comes out we say, ‘let’s go see if we can do something important for the case,'” Sgt. Thorton said.
A break in the case came several years later when new DNA analysis produced a familial match.
“We were only to match off the male relatives, this new process allows us to match the female relatives,” he said, adding it’s the first of it’s kind in California.
The DNA matched the blood found at the scene to 29-year-old Armando Cuadras. Police say the suspect lived only a few miles from Leola’s home and has been living in the area for the past six years.
“He really had no idea we were coming. For him it was a total shock,” Thorton said.
For Leola’s family, it was a relief.
“Very happy, very relieved,” Gore said.
Knowing their sweet grandma will finally get the justice she deserves.
“Soon as I find out more, I’m sure everything will fall into place and I will feel closure,” Gore said.
CBS13 reached out to Cuadras in the Sutter County Jail to hear his side of the story, but he refused an interview. He’s being held without bail.