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Julia Hernandez-Santiago's body was found on Oct. 10, 1987, along Alga Road in Carlsbad. Courtesy of Carlsbad Police Deptartment
Julia Hernandez-Santiago's body was found on Oct. 10, 1987, along Alga Road in Carlsbad. Courtesy of Carlsbad Police Deptartment
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Poway man convicted of 1987 rape, murder of woman in Carlsbad

VISTA — A Poway man was convicted of first-degree murder and rape charges this week stemming from the death of a young woman in Carlsbad more than 35 years ago.

James Charles Kingery, 57, was found guilty by a Vista jury of killing 26-year-old Julia Hernandez-Santiago, whose body was found on Oct. 10, 1987, on an ivy-covered embankment on Alga Road.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation.

While a suspect was not identified at the time of the killing, DNA collected from the crime scene led to Kingery’s arrest in the summer of 2020.

A few months prior to his arrest for Hernandez-Santiago’s murder, Kingery was arrested on suspicion of narcotics and weapons violations and a DNA sample taken from him during the arrest was later matched to samples taken in the homicide case, according to Carlsbad police.

He faces up to 25 years to life in state prison at sentencing, currently scheduled for next month.

For up-to-the-minute arrest reports in North County, check out Daily Arrest Logs. Read more local crime news here.