RIVERSIDE (CNS) - A man accused of sexually assaulting two Riverside County girls, as well as raping and killing an 11-year-old girl in Newport Beach almost five decades ago, died from an undisclosed illness today while in custody.
James Alan Neal, 73, was taken to an area hospital on May 25, according to Jaimee Blashaw of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. He was pronounced dead at about 5:15 a.m. Wednesday, she said, adding that the defendant did not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Neal was awaiting trial for the July 1973 killing of 11-year-old Linda Ann O'Keefe.
"The pursuit of justice is never-ending, and in this case the hunt for a child rapist and murderer lasted more than 46 years and transcended generations of law enforcement officers," Orange County District Attorney