Butte Co. man arrested in 34-year-old Vacaville cold case


BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Marvin Markle, who was found guilty of murder in Butte County in January 2015, was arrested by the Vacaville Police Department Tuesday for the murder of De Anna Lynn Johnson that happened 34 years ago.

Vacaville Police said many people who lived in Vacaville at the time of the murder, will never forget the afternoon of November 16, 1982, when a Southern Pacific Railroad employee traveling on a train adjacent to Elmira Road, near Royal Oaks Drive, discovered the body of a teenage girl who was later identified as 14-year-old De Anna Lynn Johnson.

Police said Johnson, who was a ninth grader at Will C. Wood Junior High School, was murdered. The day before her body was found, Johnson attended a party at a home on Royal Oaks Drive in Vacaville, but never returned home. That's when Johnson's mother reported her missing.

Early on in the investigation police established Markle, who was 17-years-old at the time, as a suspect in the case. Unfortunately the case went cold and three decades went by as detectives spent thousands of hours attempting to bring her killer to justice.

Police said in 2004, the Vacaville Police Department learned of a Butte County homicide from 2001 where Markle was their primary suspect. The Vacaville Police Department collaborated with Butte County Sheriff's detectives over many years until Markle's arrest in July 2013.

Vacaville detectives attended the Butte County trial and witnessed testimony that helped advance Vacaville's homicide investigation. Ultimately, Markle was convicted of the Butte County murder and began serving his 80-year prison sentence.

Police said this month, the Solano County District Attorney's Office granted the Vacaville Police Department an arrest warrant for Markle. Vacaville Police met with Markle Tuesday at Kern Valley State Prison where he was arrested for Johnson's murder and transported to the Vacaville Police Department before being booked into the Solano County Jail.

In January 2015, Markle was found guilty of first degree murder of 41-year-old Shirley Pratt, 13 years after her death. The Butte County jury found Markle guilty of shooting Pratt in the head and leaving her to die near the Oroville Wildlife area on October 21, 2001.

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