CA CA - Alma Root, 14, Auburn, 1 Jan 1980

Discussion in '1980's Missing' started by Richard, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Alma Violet Root, 14 years old has been mentioned in at least three other threads in these Cold Case Files as a possible match to different Jane Doe Victims. It was pointed out to me that she does not have her own thread, so I am starting one for her.

    -----------------------------------
    Alma Violet Root
    Missing since January 1, 1980 from Auburn, Placer County, California
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: February 8, 1965
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 14 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'4; 130 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown hair; brown eyes. She goes by the name Violet.
    Marks, Scars, Tattoos: Tattoo of a small blue heart over her right breast.
    Dentals: Available

    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Root had been staying with her 25-year-old boyfriend, Scott Petchek in Penryn. The boyfriend told police she asked him to drive her to her aunt's house in Rio Linda, CA on New Year's Day, 1980 when she disappeared. The boyfriend said he then went to work at McClellan Air Force Base, and when he returned to Rio Linda to pick Root up, she wasn't there. He later told police he didn't think it was strange because Root often ran away and hitchhiked. Root's family was mystified by his explanation because Root didn't have an aunt living in Rio Linda. No one has heard from Root since.

    An investigation into Root's disappearance had been dormant for more than 10 years when Root's natural father entered the sheriff's station and demanded to know what was being done to find his missing daughter. No new leads have been developed in the case.

    Investigators

    If you have any information on this case, please contact:
    Placer County Sheriff's Department
    Detective Lorrie Lewis
    530-889-7800

    E-Mail : pcsoweb@placer.ca.gov

    Agency Case Number: 911125043
    NCMEC #: NCMC761400
    NCIC Number: M-880318478
    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency in regards to this case.

    Source Information:
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    California Department of Justice
    Doenetwork case 82dfca
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Link:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/82dfca.html
     
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  3. Dr. Doogie

    Dr. Doogie New Member

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    I have been looking into the possibility that Alma was a unclaimed victim of Gerald Gallego. Consider the following points:

    * Alma, a teenaged girl, disappeared at a time when Gallego was actively seeking and murdering teenaged girls in the Sacramento area.

    * The only crimes officially linked to Gerald Gallego are the kidnap/rape/murders that his wife Charlene participated in (she testified against him in an effort to save her own skin). Yet, Gallego had a long history of crime prior to meeting his wife. It would be logical that he also committed some murders that she was not aware of. I spoke to the lead detective from Sacramento on the Gallego case and he stated that he is sure that Gallego was involved in at least three murders of young girls in Texas and Oklahoma that his wife was not aware of.

    * If Alma was hitchiking back to Penryn or Auburn, she would have been taking freeway I-80 east. Gallego frequently travelled the same freeway to go gold-panning near Auburn. He also used the area of Placer County east of Auburn to commit his crimes.

    * Alma disappeared on New Years Day of 1980. Gallego worked at the Bob-Les Club (a North Sacramento dive) as a bartender. New Years Day is usually one of the slowest days of the year, so it is quite possible that he was off work that day.

    * The Gallego's owned a van which was used to commit most of the kidnappings. DNA samples from the van were used to tie several victims to the Gallego's. However, some DNA samples in the van were never linked to the known victims. Was some of the DNA Alma's?

    I passed the summary of my research into this possible tie-in to the detective with Placer County who is handling this case (interestingly, she was the initial investigator and has continued to work the case for 26 years). The detective sincerely would like to solve this case and has been very receptive to any information that anyone can develop.
     
  4. docwho3

    docwho3 New Member

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    Perhaps they need to enter the unknown victems DNA into the missing person DNA database?
     
  5. Dr. Doogie

    Dr. Doogie New Member

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    I do not know if that has been done. It was 1980 with DNA forensics in its infancy, and they already had the perp in custody. They might not have persued it beyond getting enough evidence to get Gallego convicted.
     
  6. Dr. Doogie

    Dr. Doogie New Member

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    My theory of Gallego's involvement in Alma's disappearance is not the only possible theory and I would hate to have all the efforts of WSers focused on it. There are some very good reasons to take a good hard look at the boyfriend ("dropped her off at her aunt's house" when there is no aunt, why was a fourteen year old girl living with her adult boyfriend, etc.) I tried to locate the boyfriend using Zaba and such, but to no avail. Anybody want to try and locate him?
     
  7. docwho3

    docwho3 New Member

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    Might be worth suggesting to add the unknown victems DNA into the data base so perhaps it might turn up a few hits and clear some cases of missing persons.
     
  8. Dr. Doogie

    Dr. Doogie New Member

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    The boyfriend's name is "Scott Petchek". I have not had any luck locating where is now and any criminal record that he may have had in the 26 years since Alma disappeared. If anyone can find any info on him, it may be helpful.
     
  9. gardenmom

    gardenmom Former Member

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    Hi Doogie, good detective work. How come I didn't know you lived in Sacramento when I lived there? I would liked to have met you. I lived in Roseville up until 3 months ago!
     
  10. JusticeForAll

    JusticeForAll New Member

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  11. JusticeForAll

    JusticeForAll New Member

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    I just noticed after posting the previous message if you enter the name spelled Scot Petschek on www.peoplefinders.com it list his age as 52 and location as Penryn, Ca and Placerville, CA
     
  12. gardenmom

    gardenmom Former Member

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    That would be the correct age for him. This is probably him. Penryn is very close to Auburn.

    Sorry, just reread, the first post says the boyfriend lived in Penryn when she disappeared.
     
  13. Dr. Doogie

    Dr. Doogie New Member

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    Interesting. That means that all of the various missing posters and websites for Alma have his name misspelled. Great job, guys!
     
  14. Dr. Doogie

    Dr. Doogie New Member

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    Holy cow! Scot Petschek is listed on California's Megan's List as a registered sex offender (annoy/molest children) and is current in violation of his registration (probably didn't register when he moved). His last known address is in Sacramento. Penryn is in Placer County and Placerville is in El Dorado County, so either of these addresses might be where he is hiding.

    Could this case be solved this easily? I need to talk to the detective in Placer County right away!

    By the way, did I say "Holy cow!"?
     
  15. Dr. Doogie

    Dr. Doogie New Member

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    I just spoke with the detective investigating Alma's case. She was aware that Scot Petschek was a RSO and informed me that he had recently been rearrested in Sacramento for failure to register (he is currently in custody). Evidently, he is pretty well watched by LE in Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer counties. She said that his crime was attempting to lure an eleven year old girl into his car.

    The detective also stated that she was still investigating the possible Gallego link to Alma's disappearance. I put her in touch with the retired detective from the Sacramento Sheriffs who investigated Gallego back in the 1980's.
     
  16. JusticeForAll

    JusticeForAll New Member

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  17. Dr. Doogie

    Dr. Doogie New Member

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  18. JusticeForAll

    JusticeForAll New Member

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    He was the last one to see her alive. He drops her off at an Aunt's house in Rio Linda and then says when he comes back to pick her up she isn't there. He doesn't report her as missing. Her family says no such Aunt exists. He was 25 years old at the time and she was only 14. I wonder how much time LE spent investigating him. His first and last name are mispelled on all the missing posters. And if all that isn't enough it turns out he is a registered sex offender!
     
  19. gardenmom

    gardenmom Former Member

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    Very interesting. He has been a sex offender for a very long time. I cannot believe that Alma was allowed to live with this man, who was nearly double her age when she was just 14. I wonder how long they had been together. Did anyone else live with them, and who was the last person to see her alive besides Scot. I'm going to have to read up on this case more. If anyone has any links, please post. (I'm supposed to be studying!)
     
  20. gardenmom

    gardenmom Former Member

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    OK, I went back and read the first post. So, we know he lied. He said he dropped her off at Aunt's house, and went back to Aunt's house to pick her up. Only there was no Aunt. So, did police make him show them the house?
     
  21. Dr. Doogie

    Dr. Doogie New Member

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    I will ask that question of the detective (I have her email).

    It seems with the fact that he is an RSO, he seems like the most likely suspect: he was the last person known to have sen her, his story about the aunt doesn't float, and he has since been convicted of attempted child molestation. I have to believe that he did it. The question is: how do we prove it?

    Also, I am going to email everybody that has information about Alma's case on the web and have them correct his name and update the fact that he is a RSO (even the Placer County Sheriffs Department has his name listed wrong). This may help break some bit of new evidence loose that can wrap this up.
     

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