Police haven't given up on 1961 murder

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

Marta Santa Cruz was killed more than 50 years ago, but D.C. police have not forgotten her death.

Her body was found near a trash dump in Springfield on Independence Day, 1961. She was partially submerged in a creek near a trash dump. She had been strangled.

Cruz is one of about 4,000 unsolved murders in the District. Police at the time interviewed several suspects, but never found enough evidence to charge anyone. After 50 years, the killer could be dead too, but police haven't given up.

Cruz, 24, lived at 1930 Columbia Road NW and worked as a clerk typist at the Washington Hospital Center. She was from Bolivia, and most of her family still lived back in South America. She was described her as very shy and seldom dated.

Cruz was last seen cashing a paycheck on F Street in Northwest D.C. on July 1, 1961. She wore a greenish-blue two-piece dress and a sleeveless blouse.

When she didn't return that day, her roommate filed a missing persons report with D.C. police.

Cruz was found three days later. Her purse and paycheck were gone, but she still wore her jewelry.

Police determined that she had been sexually assaulted.

Five days after Cruz was found, her purse and a few other belongings were discovered in a trash can at a gas station off Route 22 in Harrisburg, Pa.

Police are hoping that someone will have a change or heart and come forward with information that can help close this case.

D.C. offers a $25,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction in any homicide, no matter how old the case. Anyone with information is asked to call 202-727-6028 or send an email to unsolved.murder@dc.gov.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

Scott McCabe

Staff Writer - Crime
The Washington Examiner