Over Four Decades Later, Man Arrested For Sonoma Woman’s Brutal Murder

On June 27, 1983, 37-year-old Noelle Russo was beaten to death in Northern California. Just over 40 years later, authorities were finally able to make an arrest in the cold case.

Noelle Russo, pictured here, was found beaten to death on June 27, 1983. Just over 40 years later, her alleged killer was arrested.

On June 27, 1983, 37-year-old Noelle Russo was beaten to death in Northern California. Just over 40 years later, authorities were finally able to solve the murder and make an arrest thanks to DNA technology and the preservation of other evidence.

Photo by: Sonoma County Sheriff's Office

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office

Alfredo Carretero Jr., one of the original suspects in a brutal 1983 homicide in Northern California, was arrested and charged with murder on Oct 2, 2023. According to KRON, over forty years after allegedly beating a woman to death, Carretero Jr., who is now 65, was linked to the cold case murder by DNA and other carefully preserved evidence.

On June 27, 1983, Noelle Russo’s naked body was found in an unincorporated area of Rohnert Park near Sonoma State University in California. She had been beaten to death. Russo was only 37 years old when she was murdered.

"Noelle was a close friend, if not at the time, a best friend of my mom and my mom's name was Laura Serbin," Dominique Espinosa told ABC 7. She explained that her mom kept a picture of the victim until she passed away in 2019, and Serbin was also with Russo on the night she went missing.

"They kind of liked to bar hop a little bit, and just like anybody in the area, have a little bit of fun, and that's what they were doing the night that she went missing. They split up, she said Noelle may have been talking to an ex-boyfriend, but she didn't think it was him that she went off with - but somehow they got separated at night and she couldn't get ahold of her the whole next day and then they of course found her," Espinosa revealed to ABC 7.

Espinosa shared that her mother had saved articles about the murder that reported how Russo never got on the bus home on the night she was last seen, and her body was found more than 48 hours after she went missing.

Despite a thorough investigation wherein police conducted numerous interviews and gathered much evidence, Russo’s murder became an unsolved cold case. However, it’s one that investigators continued to work on through the years.

Starting in 2010, investigators submitted several pieces of evidence in Russo’s murder to the Santa Clara County Crime Lab and the Serological Research Institute for DNA analysis. Thanks to thorough analysis and the preservation of evidence, Carretero Jr. was tied to the crime. It is not clear whether Carretero Jr. knew the victim.

Carretero Jr. was arrested in Lakeside and booked into the Sonoma County Jail. He is now being held without bond. The Press Democrat reported that he is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 18, 2023, where he is expected to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. He is being represented by the Sonoma County Public Defender’s Office.

The investigation continues. If you have any information related to this case, please contact the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office at (707)-565-2185.

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