Cold Case Victorville Murder Might Have Been Solved

VICTORVILLE – A 20-year-old cold case murder might have been solved by the arrest of a suspect in Amarillo, Texas last week.

1992 victim, Robert Dennis

On Saturday, San Bernardino County detectives brought Steven Sylvester, 57, back to California to stand on charges of murdering Robert Dennis, who was 52, in Victorville in 1992. The case was reopened in 2010 when information about Sylvester turned up in Shamrock, a north Texas city located near the Oklahoma border.

Sylvester, who was captured by authorities in Amarillo, Texas, had been identified as a suspect in the Nov. 5, 1992 murder after being associated with Dennis in the days before his death. Dennis had been found dead by his mother in their home in the 13200 block on High Desert Rd. in Victorville. Investigators had discovered that Dennis’ car had disappeared, and also collected photographs from Dennis’ bedroom.

Booking photo of Steven Sylvester from 1990

Sylvester, whose photo was found among those discovered by investigators, could not be located. Identified as a suspect in the case, detectives were unable to find him, and the case went cold after two years. They said that Dennis had reportedly picked up Sylvester, who was hitch-hiking, though there was no motive cited. Upon the death of Dennis’ mother in 2010, investigators reopened the case.

Sylvester was arrested in Texas for the 1992 murder

Investigators contacted employees at homeless shelters in Amarillo and Shamrock, telling them to call if anyone saw Sylvester, who is a transient known to frequent such places. Detectives later received information that Sylvester had been seen at a shelter near Amarillo. They also identified Sylvester’s possible home address.

Officers from the Amarillo Police Dept. captured Sylvester. Investigators from San Bernardino County traveled to Texas and interviewed Sylvester, who provided information tying himself to Dennis’ death, according to reports.

The Cold Case team is funded through a $500,000 grant from the United States Department of Justice. County investigators brought back Sylvester and booked him in West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on $1 million bail.

Read More:

High Desert Daily Press: Man arrested in Texas 20 years after Victorville murder

LA Times: Texas man arrested in 1992 Victorville killing Calif. murder suspect arrested in Amarillo

The Sun: Texas transient held in 20-year-old SB County cold case

Cold Case Victorville Murder Might Have Been Solved was last modified: January 11th, 2019 by admin

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Lee Brown

Obrey "Lee" Brown has worked for 10 newspapers and magazines in the Bay Area, central and southern California. In 2005, he wrote "A Citrus Test: Football in Black & White." He can be reached at