Suspect arrested in 1983 Pescadero State Beach homicide

A man initially set free for the murder of a 19-year-old woman found partially buried in the sand at Pescadero State Beach more than 30 years ago has been arrested again after
investigators connected him to the crime with DNA evidence, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

John Scott, 67, was arrested on Monday in Topock, Ariz., where investigators found him living after reopening the case earlier this year. He is being extradited from Arizona to face charges in San Mateo County for the murder, according to the sheriff’s office.

Two sightseers found Sharon Ray of San Francisco on the beach north of Pescadero Creek Road on Oct. 30, 1983. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled, according to the
sheriff’s office.

Investigators determined Scott, who was 35 years old at the time, was the last person seen with Ray in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. He was arrested as a suspect in her murder but later released because there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him at the time, sheriff’s officials said.

But after the case was reopened earlier this year, new analysis of DNA evidence implicated Scott as the person who sexually assaulted and killed Ray, sheriff’s officials said.

Anyone with information about the case has been asked to contact San Mateo County sheriff’s Detective Scott Berberian at (650) 363-4051 or a tip line at (800) 547-2700.

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

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

At a rally in February, Monthanus Ratanapakdee, left, and Eric Lawson remember Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who died after he was pushed to the pavement in San Francisco. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Examiner file photo)
The criminal justice system can’t fix what’s wrong in our community

My 87-year-old mother walks gingerly, slowly, deliberately, one step in front of… Continue reading

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Most Read