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Arrest Made in Cold Case Murder of NorCal Woman. The Suspect is 75.



An autopsy revealed the victim died from blunt force trauma and asphyxia. (Shutterstock)
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A 75-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the cold-case killing of a woman whose body was found in a rural Northern California river nearly 18 years ago, authorities said.

Patricia Joseph was reported missing on July 15, 2005 and her body was discovered three days later in the Klamath River about 25 miles north of her home in Fort Jones.

An autopsy revealed the 56-year-old died from blunt force trauma and asphyxia.

Detectives reopened the case in 2021, using new technology to analyze evidence, leading to the Feb. 6 arrest in Yreka of Philip William Frase on suspicion of murder, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday.

It wasn’t known Tuesday if Frase has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

On a Facebook page dedicated to Joseph’s memory, her family said “the time for justice is long overdue.”

“We miss you like crazy mom,” the family said in a post Tuesday.

The evidence in the case wasn’t specified, but the analysis “produced compelling results connecting Frase to the killing of Patricia,” the sheriff’s statement said.

Officials didn’t name a possible motive or say if Frase and Joseph knew each other. Frase was held in lieu of $2 million bail.

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