News

Convicted killer charged with murders of two women in Fremont in 1986

Defendant already serving prison term for 1989 homicide conviction

A 57-year-old man who is already in state prison for a 1989 murder has been charged with the murders of two young women in Fremont in 1986, police said Monday.

The filing of charges on Friday against David Emery Misch for the shooting and stabbing deaths of Michelle Xavier, 18, and Jennifer Duey, 20, concludes a 32-year-long investigation into the case.

Misch currently is in state prison for his conviction for a homicide in Alameda County in 1989, but authorities said they expect him to be brought to Santa Rita Jail later this week to be arraigned for the 1986 murders.

Fremont police said Xavier and Duey, who were best friends, were found dead along the side of Mill Creek Road, a little more than a mile east of Mission Boulevard, shortly after midnight on Feb. 2, 1986.

Police said a motorcyclist driving on Mill Creek Road discovered the bodies at about 12:30 a.m. and immediately called authorities, who discovered that the two women had been shot and stabbed several hours earlier.

Police said the deaths of the two women were highly publicized and left many in the community shaken and fearful in their own neighborhoods.

Xavier's Pontiac Sunbird was located parked about 6 miles away from the crime scene in the parking lot of the Mission Valley Shopping Center in Fremont, according to police.

Xavier and Duey had attended a birthday dinner for a family member and were last seen together at about 8 p.m. on Feb. 1, 1986, at a convenience store in the area of Farwell Drive and Mowry Avenue, police said.

Their personal belongings, including purses and identification, have never been found.

Police said leads and phone calls kept detectives busy for several months, a reward of $35,000 was raised by community members, and posters soliciting tips were put up throughout the city.

Fremont police said several people of interest were identified and interviewed over the years but detectives would rule most of them out and eventually the case went cold and was eventually suspended.

But in 2016, a position was created in the Crimes Against Persons Unit to focus on open cold case homicides and missing persons and the murders of Xavier and Duey became a top priority again, police said.

Cold case Detective Jacob Blass began to re-examine case files as well as several pieces of evidence, including those that had been processed for DNA in recent years, and the evidence identified Misch as the main suspect, according to police.

Fremont police said Misch lived in the area at the time of the slayings and was a known commercial burglar and drug user.

Police said they don't believe Xavier and Duey had any history or contact with Misch before they were killed.

Blass presented the case and evidence to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office last August and over the next several months, detectives continued working on the case and re-interviewed witnesses, family members and Misch, police said.

The findings from the follow-up investigation were presented to the DA's office earlier this year and prosecutors filed two counts of murder against Misch on Friday.

Prosecutors also filed five special circumstances murder allegations against Misch: two for allegedly killing the two women during the course of a rape and three for allegedly committing multiple murders.

Fremont Police Chief Richard Lucero said in a statement, "The department is grateful to be able to provide this level of closure and consolation to the victims and our community. Generations of investigators have carried this case and the interest of the families has never faded from their priority over time."

The Xavier and Duey families said they "wish to thank the Fremont Police Department and all of the officers and detectives who worked countless hours during the past 32 years on our daughters' case."

The families said, "We have been in constant contact with them, so we know how deeply they care and how hard they work."

The Xavier and Duey families said, "We wish to extend our appreciation to our many friends in the community who supported us, stood by us, and prayed for us during those most difficult years. Numerous unexpected acts of kindness sustained us."

They said, "We now wait for justice and hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers."

Fremont police said anyone with information about the case should call their investigative Unit at (510) or email coldcasedetective@fremont.gov.

— Bay City News Service

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