Authorities Ask the Public's Help to Solve Murder

Gail Catherine Allen, was found dead on Oct. 28, 1995, in the 21000 block of Covina Hills Road. Authorities have not given up on finding her killer.

Authorities sought public help this week to solve the killing of a young woman whose body was found 17 years ago in unincorporated county area near Covina.

Gail Catherine Allen, 20, was found dead on Oct. 28, 1995, in the 21000 block of Covina Hills Road, sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.

Her body remained unidentified, however, until earlier this year.

"She was discovered unclothed in a sleeping bag, burned, dumped off the side of the road," sheriff's Lt. Dave Dolson said. "About 17 years later she was finally identified."

A break in the case came in June, when tissue samples from the body were linked to a missing person's investigation in Morro Bay involving Allen. Nishida said a DNA match was made between the tissue samples and DNA reference samples obtained from Allen's parents.

Sheriff's homicide detectives Lt. Dave Dolson, Sgt. Jeff Cochran and Sgt. Troy Ewing held a news conference today, asking the public's help in assistance in locating anyone with information about the case.

In 1995, the homicide detectives then handling the case similarly asked for the public's help.

Three years later, a close friend of Allen, William Alley, reported her as missing under suspicious circumstances to the Redlands Police Department.     Alley told police that Allen was last known to be living in Morro Bay with Marquis Detar, father of her then-2-year-old daughter Katie Detar.

The missing person investigation was turned over to the Morro Bay police.

Morro Bay police detectives learned that Allen did indeed live with Marquis Detar at an apartment at 2100 Sunset Avenue, where Detar lived until June 2006, when he moved to Florida.

At this point, Morro Bay authorities asked for help from the FBI. Detar was interviewed by federal agents.

According to authorities, Detar them the relationship was strained toward the end, with Allen "coming and going" as she pleased while the couple were living together in Morro Bay.

He said that Allen befriended an unknown male known only as "Cowboy" when she was working for Taco Bell. He said that the last time he saw Allen was Halloween 1995.

Sheriff's homicide detectives are seeking information about Allen from anyone who knew her or may have information about her. Sheriff's homicide bureau Sgt. Jeff Cochran or Sgt. Troy Ewing can be reached at (323) 890-5500.

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