Sandpoint man arrested for 1981 murder of 6-year-old boy - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sandpoint man arrested for 1981 murder of 6-year-old boy

Posted: Updated:
Kenneth Rasmuson in 1981, five months after the murder of the boy in Pomona (PHOTO: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department) Kenneth Rasmuson in 1981, five months after the murder of the boy in Pomona (PHOTO: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department)
53-year-old Kenneth Rasmuson of Sandpoint was arrested for the murder of a 6-year-old boy in 1981 on Friday. (PHOTO: Idaho State Police Sex Offender Registry) 53-year-old Kenneth Rasmuson of Sandpoint was arrested for the murder of a 6-year-old boy in 1981 on Friday. (PHOTO: Idaho State Police Sex Offender Registry)
Kenneth Rasmuson's booking photo after his arrest on Friday (PHOTO: Lt. Eddie Vazquez via Bonner County Jail) Kenneth Rasmuson's booking photo after his arrest on Friday (PHOTO: Lt. Eddie Vazquez via Bonner County Jail)
SANDPOINT, Idaho - A 53-year-old Sandpoint, Idaho man has been arrested in connection to a 33-year-old cold case murder of a 6-year-old boy. 

On Friday, Detectives from the Pomona Police Department in California arrested 53-year-old Kenneth Rasmuson for the murder of a 6-year-old boy in 1981. 

Detectives say on July 2, 1981 6-year-old Jeffrey David Vargo left his house on his bike to go to a fireworks stand in Anaheim. A short time later, his parents found his abandoned bike in an alley. The next day, Vargo's body was found by two construction workers in Pomona. The Coroner's Office determined he had died of asphyxia due to strangulation. 

Speaking to the Orange County Register, Lt. Eddie Vasquez said detectives reopened Jeffrey David Vargo's cold case and through DNA evidence, they were able to link Rasmuson to the murder. 

Also talking to the Orange County Register, Vargo's mother expressed relief that a suspect in her son's murder has finally been caught. 

“We have mixed emotions,” Vargo told the Register. “After 33 years, someone is finally caught. This person took so much of our lives and now that he's been arrested, hopefully, justice will be served so he can't hurt anyone else.”

According to the Idaho State Police Sex Offender Registry, Rasmuson is registered as a sex offender for four offenses. Two of those offenses were in Santa Barbara, California for Lewd and Lascivious Act with a Child Under 14 Years of Age in December of 1981, five months after the disappearance of the boy in California. He was released in 1985 and was arrested two years later in May 1987 in Los Angeles for Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child Under 14 Years of Age and Kidnapping for Purpose of Sexual Offense. 

An article from The Bonner County Bee in October 2010 warned the residents of Sandpoint that Rasmuson had just moved into the community after being released from a mental hospital in California. 

Rasmuson is now in custody at the Bonner County Jail in Sandpoint and will be extradited back to Pomona to face murder charges. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Pomona Police Department at 909-620-2085. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 20-year-old man killed in crash near Rathdrum

    20-year-old man killed in crash near Rathdrum

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 8:49 PM EDT2018-10-17 00:49:00 GMT

    RATHDRUM, Idaho -  Idaho State Police have identified the man killed in a crash near Rathdrum Tuesday. Troopers responded to Chase Road, west of Rathdrum, around 1:15 p.m. Investigators say 20-year-old Brady Robert McPhail of Osburn, Idaho, was traveling eastbound in a white 2010 Buick Lucerne when he went into the westbound lane of traffic.

    >>

    RATHDRUM, Idaho -  Idaho State Police have identified the man killed in a crash near Rathdrum Tuesday. Troopers responded to Chase Road, west of Rathdrum, around 1:15 p.m. Investigators say 20-year-old Brady Robert McPhail of Osburn, Idaho, was traveling eastbound in a white 2010 Buick Lucerne when he went into the westbound lane of traffic.

    >>
  • Teenager dies after shooting in downtown Spokane; suspect in custody

    Teenager dies after shooting in downtown Spokane; suspect in custody

    Thursday, October 18 2018 1:06 AM EDT2018-10-18 05:06:00 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Hospital officials say the teenage victim shot in downtown Spokane Wednesday evening has died from his injuries.  Police say the suspect in the shooting, who had been on the run since the shooting was reported, has been safely taken into custody after an hours-long search in and around the downtown area.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Hospital officials say the teenage victim shot in downtown Spokane Wednesday evening has died from his injuries.  Police say the suspect in the shooting, who had been on the run since the shooting was reported, has been safely taken into custody after an hours-long search in and around the downtown area.

    >>
  • Pennsylvania man dies in crash at Trent and Barker in Spokane Valley

    Pennsylvania man dies in crash at Trent and Barker in Spokane Valley

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 3:12 AM EDT2018-10-17 07:12:28 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Washington State Patrol reports one man has died and a woman is in the hospital after a crash at Trent and Barker in Spokane Valley Tuesday night. Investigators say 26-year-old John L. Scott of Lancaster, Pennsylvania,  was headed westbound on SR 290 east of Flora in a 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup when he crossed the center line into the oncoming lanes of traffic.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Washington State Patrol reports one man has died and a woman is in the hospital after a crash at Trent and Barker in Spokane Valley Tuesday night. Investigators say 26-year-old John L. Scott of Lancaster, Pennsylvania,  was headed westbound on SR 290 east of Flora in a 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup when he crossed the center line into the oncoming lanes of traffic.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Regional NewsMore>>

  • Man arrested for DUI, threats to kill works at Kadlec, Richland hospital says

    Man arrested for DUI, threats to kill works at Kadlec, Richland hospital says

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 7:58 PM EDT2018-10-16 23:58:21 GMT

    There is new information tonight on the lock down at Kadlec in Richland Monday night, where a man threatened to kill himself and others.

    >>

    There is new information tonight on the lock down at Kadlec in Richland Monday night, where a man threatened to kill himself and others.

    >>
  • ESPN College Gameday location in Pullman set

    ESPN College Gameday location in Pullman set

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 10:23 AM EDT2018-10-16 14:23:13 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - If you're planning on traveling to Pullman this Saturday to take part in the ESPN College Gameday festivities and are wondering where they will be broadcasting from, look for the giant crowd by the stadium with all of the ESPN College Gameday logos.  If you're the kind of person who likes exact intersections, then head to the corner of Stadium Way and Ferdinad's Lane. 

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - If you're planning on traveling to Pullman this Saturday to take part in the ESPN College Gameday festivities and are wondering where they will be broadcasting from, look for the giant crowd by the stadium with all of the ESPN College Gameday logos.  If you're the kind of person who likes exact intersections, then head to the corner of Stadium Way and Ferdinad's Lane. 

    >>
  • Oregon hunter kills advancing cougar near Mt. Hood

    Oregon hunter kills advancing cougar near Mt. Hood

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 1:01 AM EDT2018-10-16 05:01:26 GMT
    Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on UnsplashPhoto by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon man hunting for deer near Mt. Hood killed a cougar after he says three of the big cats advanced toward him. KGW-TV reports Bill Nylund of Rhododendron was hunting near Badger Lake earlier this month when the cougars approached. He says the animals didn't appear scared of him, leaving him no choice but to shoot one. He shot an adult female cougar that was about 50 feet (15 meters) away.    

    >>

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon man hunting for deer near Mt. Hood killed a cougar after he says three of the big cats advanced toward him. KGW-TV reports Bill Nylund of Rhododendron was hunting near Badger Lake earlier this month when the cougars approached. He says the animals didn't appear scared of him, leaving him no choice but to shoot one. He shot an adult female cougar that was about 50 feet (15 meters) away.    

    >>