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San Francisco police make arrest in murder from 1998

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San Francisco police announced an arrest Wednesday in the brutal stabbing death of a 36-year-old computer programmer in her Diamond Heights apartment more than a decade ago.

Lisa Valdez was murdered by an intruder on May 20, 1998, police said.

On Saturday, San Francisco plainclothes cops detained Anthony Quinn Hughes, 52, at Turk and Leavenworth streets, police said. He was interviewed by a homicide detective at the Hall of Justice before being booked on murder and attempted rape charges.

DNA evidence played a part in the arrest, but there is other evidence implicating Hughes, San Francisco police homicide inspector Pam Hofsass said Wednesday.

Hofsass and fellow inspector Kevin Jones were credited with solving the crime.

Hofsass declined to disclose further details for fear of compromising the investigation.

Valdez’s family is “very grateful and relieved” about the arrest, the police inspector said.

“The people involved in the case never gave up hope,” she said.

Hughes could not appear at his arraignment hearing Wednesday because he is undergoing a mental evaluation, according to the district attorney’s office.

He is scheduled to enter his plea Monday.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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