Photo: Kenneth Rasmuson
POMONA – When a boy left his home to take a look at a fireworks stand on July 2, 1981 – he never returned. The next day, two construction workers found his remains in Pomona.
Six-year-old Jeffrey Vargo of Anaheim Hills had been murdered. The unsolved cold case was later connected to a DNA hit, linking a convicted sex offender – Kenneth Rasmuson (DOB 12/16/61).
The perpetrator was found and arrested in Idaho. Next, Investigators linked Rasmuson’s DNA to another boy’s unsolved decades-old cold-case death in 1986. Miguel Antero (6) had gone missing on April 8th – to be found that same day, deceased, in an Agoura Hills wash.
Murder Case KA109311 was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. As a result, on 02/22/2021, convicted sex offender Kenneth Rasmuson pleaded guilty in connection with the 1980s sexual assault and unsolved slaying of the children. “The defendant’s guilty plea took place in the Pomona Courthouse in consultation with family members who welcomed the resolution,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
Defendant Rasmuson also admitted to the special circumstance multiple-murders allegation, along with his pleading guilty to two counts of Murder. A recent court ruling did not dismiss the special-circumstance allegations – leaving Rasmuson facing life in prison with no possibility of parole.
“In a motion to the court last week, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer signaled his intent to seek the death penalty in spite of the state’s moratorium if he was granted jurisdiction, (because one of the victims was from Anaheim Hills,)” reported the L.A.D.A Office.
In direct contrast, District Attorney Gascón does not seek the death penalty for many reasons: “its disparate application, absent deterrence effect, extraordinary cost to taxpayers, and because it subjects victims to decades of appeals–forcing them to relive their trauma.”
Regarding this tangled case, District Attorney Gascón issued the following declaration: “This was a heinous offense and this individual will not share the sidewalk with the rest of us. The defendant was always facing life in prison, making the rhetoric from tough-on-crime voices incredibly dangerous and entirely removed from reality.
Splitting this case up or seeking the death penalty in a state with a moratorium would have dragged the victims through decades of legal proceedings for an execution that is exceedingly unlikely to be imposed.
Spending exorbitant amounts on a death penalty prosecution that is ultimately just for show would force the families of these victims to relive their trauma through decades of litigation. That’s not in the interests of the victims, nor is it in the interests of the public.”
Expect the scheduled sentencing to take place on April 27th.