Homicide Suspect In A 40 Year Old Cold Case Has Been Arrested

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Fontana Police Department
Chief William Green
Service with Integrity

Press Release

Suspect Arrested In a Cold Case Homicide From 1980  

Suspect Leonard Nash

Victm:                   Michelle Jones 

                                AKA: Missy, 18 years old at the time of her murder

Suspect:               Leonard Nash (66 years of age)

                                AKA: Michael, 26 years old at the time Victim Michelle’s Murder



On July 5, 1980 at approximately 1640 hours, Victim Michelle Jones was found murdered  in a grapefruit grove located in the area of Live Oak Ave and Santa Ana Ave in the City of Fontana.  Responding officers located Victim Michelle Jones deceased with her dress and panty hose removed and her head covered with dirt.

An autopsy was performed on Victim Michelle Jones shortly after her body was discovered.  During the autopsy, forensic evidence was collected but was unable to be processed due to the lack of technology at the time.  Detectives exhausted all investigative leads in 1980 and the case went cold. 

In 2020, items of evidence that were previously collected at Victim Michelle Jones’ autopsy were sent to the Riverside/San Bernardino CAL-DNA Laboratory for processing.  DNA was located and was identified as an unknown single male contributor.  This profile was entered into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) and no positive matches were present in the system. 

Investigators conducted follow-up interviews with Victim Michelle Jones’ family members which lead to Leonard Nash as a person of interest in the investigation.  In June of 2020, Investigators located Leonard Nash in Las Vegas, Nevada and collected his discarded DNA.  These items containing Leonard Nash’s DNA were sent to the Riverside/ San Bernardino CAL-DNA Laboratory to be directly compared to the DNA collected at Vicitm Jones’ autopsy.  The results of the comparisson revealed the DNA collected from Victim Jones at her autopsy were a match to Leonard Nash’s DNA. 

Investigators obtained a warrant for Leonard Nash’s arrest and he was taken into custody on 09/08/2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Suspect Leonard Nash is currently awaiting extradition to San Bernardino County, California. 


For media inquires please contact

PIO Jennie Venzor at: jvenzor@fontana.org

@FonanaPD  #FontanaPD