September 21, 2021

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Cold case murder of California mom, killed while jogging, finally solved

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Cold case murder of California mom, killed while jogging, finally solved

A Texas person has admitted to the murder of a 37-12 months-previous nurse and mom of 4 who was killed though jogging in Redding in 1995.

On Monday, James Earl Watkins pleaded responsible in the cold-case murder of Christine Munro, a slaying that shocked the restricted-knit group of Redding. Watkins pleaded responsible to very first-diploma murder and admitted to the allegations of kidnapping, theft and lying in wait, the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office environment mentioned in a statement

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 25. 

“Christine Munro has a few surviving little ones,” the District Attorney’s Office environment stated. “They were all consulted and are happy with the resolution of the case.”


Munro was attacked when running on the south facet of the Sacramento River Trail on June 24, 1995. 

In 1997, a convicted rapist falsely confessed to the crime, but there was insufficient proof to cost him, and the scenario went cold, the Redding Law enforcement Section mentioned in a assertion.

In late 2019, big crimes Detective Rusty Bishop reopened the case and began hunting at “actual physical evidence that could be analyzed with contemporary DNA engineering,” the police office said. Making use of fingernail scrapings taken from Munro, the Office of Justice uncovered a achievable match as a result of the department’s Put together DNA Index Process and notified Bishop. 

The DNA matched with Watkins, who was serving a 14-calendar year sentence for robbery in a Texas point out jail, police reported. 

Detectives immediately began examining Watkins’ record and learned he moved from Texas to Redding in early 1995 when he was 17. Police stated they have been contacted extra than 8 situations about Watkins in a two-year period of time for a sequence of grievances, including shoplifting, a warrant arrest and an unlawful tenting quotation. 

Watkins returned to Texas in the slide of 1997, exactly where he would go on to be accused of several crimes, such as sexual assault, burglary and bank robbery, Redding police reported. “He has used a substantial part of his daily life in prison,” they additional. 

In August 2020, Redding detectives flew to Texas to interview Watkins and secured a look for warrant for his DNA. It matched the DNA observed less than Watkins’ fingernails, they stated. In November, they flew Watkins through non-public airplane to Redding from Texas, following obtaining a warrant for transfer. Watkins was then booked into Shasta County Jail. 

“To Christine’s loved ones, we know it has been a extended time considering that the loss of Christine,” Redding law enforcement stated. “Thank you for your assist in the course of this investigation. We sincerely hope it brings you some measure of closure.”

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