Pacifica teen identified as victim in Santa Cruz cold case

Santa Cruz police said Thursday they had solved a nearly two-decade-old mystery by identifying a body that was found in 1994, in a park near the UC Santa Cruz campus, as a teenage Pacifica girl.

In a case dubbed Pogonip Jane, police identified the remains as those of 17-year-old Kori Joanne Lamaster, Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said.

The girl’s partially buried body was found in Pogonip Park by a pair of hikers Jan. 29, 1994, and she remained unidentified until police found matches for her fingerprints and DNA in October, Clark said.

Lamaster’s death remains an open homicide case and police have identified two people of interest — Wayne White, a Tennessee resident, and his son Greg, who is now dead, Clark said.

The case was originally investigated by then-Officer Loran “Butch” Baker, one of the two Santa Cruz police officers gunned down on the job in February. Baker, who was the lead investigator on the case in the 1990s, picked up the case again after being promoted to sergeant and it continued to “haunt” him, Clark said.

Other police detectives took up the case after Baker died, and a major break came with a DNA match to a family member of Lamaster’s in October, Clark said.

Lamaster lived in Pacifica, but her family did not file a missing-persons report with the Pacifica Police Department until 2007, even though she went missing in 1993, according to Clark.

Her family submitted DNA samples in 2008 to Pacifica police, and in October, a California Department of Justice laboratory notified Santa Cruz police about the DNA findings, Clark said.

Santa Cruz police are interested in talking to anyone with information about Wayne and Greg White or who may have seen Lamaster in the Santa Cruz area in 1993, Clark said.Bay Area NewsPacificaPeninsulaPogonip ParkSanta Cruz

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

A nurse draws up a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Mission neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine site on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF expands vaccine eligiblity, but appointments ‘limited’

San Francisco expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday but appointments remain limited… Continue reading

The now-shuttered Cliff House restaurant overlooks Ocean Beach people at Ocean Beach on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
History buffs working to keep Cliff House collection in public view

Funds needed to buy up historic building’s contents at auction

Andra Day sounds great in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”<ins></ins>
Singing soars in uneven ‘United States vs. Billie Holiday’

‘Test Pattern’ takes on timely issues, from racism to women’s health

Most Read