Advertisement

A closer look -- Still searching for answers

February 25, 2002

Deepa Bharath

NEWPORT-MESA -- Her personality was as radiant as her name.

Sunny.

The 26-year-old photography student, who had a steady boyfriend, a

penchant for bright-colored 1940s clothing and made friends with the

nonchalant ease of a seasoned socialite, simply had no enemies.

That's what baffled family, friends and, later, police detectives when

Advertisement

they heard Sunny Adrianne Sudweeks was found strangled to death on her

bed in her Mission Street apartment the morning of Feb. 23, 1997.

It just didn't make any sense. Who would do such a thing?

Almost exactly five years later, that question remains unanswered. The

Costa Mesa Police Department still offers a $5,000 reward for information

leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

But police have received no leads or information that has been of any

consequence yet.

Sudweeks' family is not the only one that yearns for some sense of

closure. Costa Mesa Police detectives have 23 so-called "cold" cases in

hand -- unsolved murders that are missing one, a few or most pieces of

the puzzle.

Newport Beach has six unsolved homicide cases to date, the earliest

one dating back to the murder of 11-year-old Linda Ann O'Keefe, a student

at Lincoln Intermediate School in Corona del Mar. O'Keefe disappeared

July 6, 1973. A bicyclist found her strangled the next morning in a ditch

by Back Bay Road.

The oldest one in Costa Mesa dates back to 1970, said Det. Sgt. Jack

Archer.

Homicide cases are never closed because of the seriousness of the

crime and also because there is no statute of limitations on such cases,

he said.

"Families and friends never forget about it," Archer said. "So the

police should not forget about it either. It's our responsibility to

bring these killers to justice."

Of the 23 cold cases, police have suspects in three, or at least have

arrest warrants out in three cases. One of those warrants is for Victor

Garcia, the 17-year-old suspected of being involved in the murder of

16-year-old Ceceline Godsoe.

Godsoe was found bludgeoned to death during the wee hours of Sept. 21,

2001, on a brush-covered trail in Fairview Park. Witnesses told police

Godsoe met Garcia at the park the night of Sept. 20.

On Thursday, the film crew of America's Most Wanted worked with Costa

Mesa police officers to prepare a documentary on the case.

"We contacted them in October because we felt it may help us get

closer to [Garcia] or at least get some leads," Archer said.

He said investigators received information from a few sources that

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|