Sheriff's office marks anniversaries of cold-case homicides near Pleasanton

45 years since two women discovered dead on Fallon Road in Dublin; 35 years since teen's body found in Sunol

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office last week called attention to somber anniversaries for a pair of decades-old, unsolved homicide cases near Pleasanton, with investigators also putting out a renewed call for information to help them solve the cold-case murders.

Dec. 3 marked 45 years to the day since the bodies of Michael Marie Shane, 30, and Kathy Sue Pethel, 27, were discovered on the west side of Fallon Road north of Interstate 580 in Dublin, sheriff's officials said in their "Cold Case" post on social media.

Friends said both women were planning to hitchhike to the Los Angeles area on Dec. 3, 1973 for a custody hearing. The pair were last seen alive in San Francisco between 12:30-2 a.m. that morning, walking on Oak Street toward Ashbury Street, a major hitchhiking corner in the city.

The double homicide case has remained unsolved since.

One day earlier last week, the sheriff's office remembered the 35th anniversary of the day that teenager Kellie Jean Poppleton was found dead in Sunol.

Poppleton, a student at Conrad Noll School in Fremont, was last seen on the corner of Darwin Drive and Fremont Boulevard, sheriff's officials said on social media last week. Poppleton's body was discovered on the side of Kilkare Road in Sunol on Dec. 2, 1983.

Witnesses reported seeing a black Pontiac Trans Am near the scene prior to the teen's body being found, investigators said. Poppleton's death has also remained unsolved over the decades.

Sheriff's officials often acknowledge cold-case homicide anniversaries through posts on social media, along with the message, "Our victims are never forgotten." They released a photo of Poppleton as part of their post, but no photos were available of Shane or Pethel.

Anyone with pertinent information about either case can contact the sheriff's Cold Case Homicide Unit at 510-667-3661 or the anonymous tip line at 510-667-3622. Reference case No. 73S-3974 for the Shane/Pethel homicides. Reference case No. 83-13639 for the Poppleton homicide.

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