Cold Case Solved through DNA Genealogy Analysis

Cold Case Solved through DNA Genealogy Analysis
Photo: John Arthur Getreu
SANTA CLARA COUNTY —The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office has announced the arrest of a suspect wanted in the 1973 cold case rape and strangulation death of 21-year-old Leslie Marie Perlov.
The mystery behind Perlov’s disappearance began on February 13, 1973, when her 1972 Orange Chevrolet Nova was discovered parked at the gate of an old quarry located near the intersection of Old Page Mill Road and Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, California.
Perlov’s remains were discovered three days later on February 16th, 1973, when a Sheriff’s Office Reserve Mounted Unit located an unknown female body under an oak tree near an area where her Perlov’s car was discovered.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, in July 2018, the Santa Clara County Crime Laboratory submitted an unknown DNA profile to Parabon Nano Labs out of Virginia that uses traditional genealogical methods to establish the relationship between an unknown subject and his/her known ancestors.
A matching DNA profile was linked to 74-year-old John Arthur Getreu of Hayward who had entered his DNA into the heritage DNA database in search of relatives.
On November 9th, 2018, the Santa Clara County Crime Laboratory confirmed that DNA samples identified Getreu as the suspect linked to the murder of Perlov.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office then obtained a warrant for Getreu’s arrest, and on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, he was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for the murder of Leslie Perlov ending a 45-year search for her killer.
The San Jose Mercury News adds this information about the suspect – “In 1964, an 18-year-old Getreu was convicted of raping and killing a 16-year-old girl in Germany, where his father, a U.S. Army sergeant major, was stationed. The victim was the daughter of an Army chaplain also stationed there. He was tried as a juvenile and eventually returned to the United States after serving a short sentence.”
Cold Case Solved through DNA Genealogy Analysis was last modified: November 29th, 2018 by admin
Categories: Santa Clara

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Amy Nilson

Amy L. Nilson is a freelance journalist specializing in criminal and environmental matters. She has over 5+years experience writing investigative reports, featured journal articles, and has taken on writing fiction and non-fiction prose. She writes for CrimeVoice,, and other news publications. She may be reached at for any comments or suggestions, you might have.