Decades-Old Kidnapping Murder Case Solved

December 12, 2017 Updated: December 12, 2017

Antioch Police Department announced on the evening of Monday, Dec. 11, that an arrest has been made for the June 1980 kidnapping, rape, and murder of 14-year-old Suzanne Bombardier. It had been a cold-case for 37 years.

Mitchell Lynn Bacom from Antioch, California, was arrested at around 5 p.m on Monday in relation to Bombardier’s death, according to police in a press conference on Dec. 11.

In the 1980 case, Bombardier was taken in the middle of the night from her sister’s home in Antioch while she was babysitting her two nieces. She remained missing for approximately five days and was eventually found dead in the San Joaquin River near the Antioch Bridge with a stab wound to the chest which penetrated her heart. Police said evidence at the time indicated she had been sexually assaulted.

“Although we are ecstatic an arrest has been made in this case it will not bring Suzanne back into her family’s lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with Suzanne Bombardier’s family and we hope this mystery being solved offers some level of comfort for them,” authorities said during a press conference on Dec. 11.

Police said Bacom was identified as the killer after DNA collected in the original case was tested at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory. The lab is equipped with the most advanced available DNA testing, according to police. Through the testing, they were able to tentatively identify Bacom as the perpetrator early in 2017 and eventually confirm his identity through additional testing.

 “Although in recent years there was some question relative to our commitment regarding this investigation, we never gave up on bringing this case to a resolution,” authorities said.

Bacom was being held on the charges of murder, kidnapping, and rape for a number of other similar crimes he committed before and after Bombardier’s death.

In 1973, the Bacom was arrested in Mountain View, California, for rape, robbery, assault with intent to commit murder, and oral copulation and was convicted in 1974 for burglary, assault with intent to murder, and sodomy. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

He was again arrested for robbery and rape in 1981 at Isleton, Californa and sentenced to 24 years in prison for burglary, robbery, rape, and sodomy.

In 2002, Bacom was convicted in Contra Costa County of failing to properly register as a sex offender and was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

The girl’s father, Ted Bombardier, told the Contra Costa Times in 1996 that the 14-year-old must have known her killer, reported East Bay Times.

“Obviously, there was no forced entry. She must have known who it was,” Ted Bombardier said.

According to the newspaper citing police, Bacom was known to the Bombardier’s family.


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