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The CEO of a California tech company has shockingly been arrested for the 1992 murder of a 25 year-old female computer engineer.

Tech CEO Arrested For Murder Charges

USA Today reported that ReadyTech CEO John Kevin Woodward, 58, was arrested last Saturday for the murder of Laurie Houts, a 25-year-old computer engineer who was found strangled in her car in Mountain View, California on September 5, 1992. Woodward was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City after he arrived there from Amsterdam, as he has been living in the Netherlands. 

After Houts was found strangled in her vehicle near a garbage dumpsite nearly 30 years ago, her murder case quickly went cold. Thankfully, updates in DNA technology over the past few decades allowed police to connect Woodward to the rope that was used to kill Houts.

When the case was reopened back in 2020, evidence was resubmitted to the Santa Clara County Crime Lab for analysis.  The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Identification Unit was able to connect 80 latent fingerprints collected at the time of Houts’ death to Woodward after reexamining them.

Related: Fugitive Charged With Murder Of Guard Who Helped Him Escape

Woodward Previously Arrested For Houts’ Murder

Woodward was actually arrested for Houts murder back in 1992, and was tried twice for it, only to get off both times thanks to hung juries. He was roommates with Houts’ boyfriend, and police said that Woodward was jealous of her, as he had romantic feelings for the roommate. Though Woodward had no alibi for the night Houts was killed, there was not enough solid evidence at the time to convict him.

Find out more about Woodward’s arrest in the video below.

“This case is the culmination of incredible determination by our detectives over the decades and with phenomenal teamwork with our agency partners here in Santa Clara County and in New York,” said Mountain View Police Chief Chris Hsiung.

“I am honored that our agency finally gets to give hope to Laurie’s family that they can see a successful prosecution carried out. It bears repeating – we do not give up on justice for victims, no matter what,” he added.

Related: Parents Horrified After High School Gives Students Assignment To Plan ‘The Perfect Murder’

Houts’ Family Speaks Out

Houts family released a statement expressing their relief that their loved one is finally getting some justice. 

“Laurie Anne Houts was a beloved family member and friend to many,” they said. “Although she was only 5′ tall, she had a huge heart and her humor and spunk were endearing to all. The way Laurie lived and treated people was a stunning example of what was right in the world.”

“She was a gem to so many, but her bright life was taken from us at the age of 25,” the family continued. “We are hopeful that justice can finally be served for Laurie and incredibly appreciative of the law enforcement agencies who have never given up on her.”

Watch her family talk more about Houts in the video below.

District Attorney Speaks Out

Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen told The New York Post that even after two failed trials, his office never stopped trying to get justice for Houts and her family. 

“I want Ms. Houts’ family and friends to know that we never gave up on her,” Rosen said. “Neither time nor distance will stop us from finding out the truth and seeking justice.”  

Woodward’s trial date will be set at a later time. 

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