Unidentified Victim of Serial Killer ‘Happy Face Killer’ Struggles for Closure After 31 Years, Riverside County Needs Leads

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Riverside County is reaching out to the public to help identify the last victim of serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, also known as the “Happy Face Killer.” This unidentified victim was killed 31 years ago and new DNA technology has provided a strong lead in identifying her.

According to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, recent developments in DNA technology have allowed for a forensic approximation of the victim, based on her remains and descriptions provided by Jesperson. The victim was found along Interstate 95, north of Blythe, California, in August 1992.

Keith Hunter Jesperson, convicted of multiple murders in 2010, has disclosed additional details about the victim known as “Claudia.” Jesperson claimed that he met her at a brake check area in 1992 and later killed her during an argument over money, dumping her body near Blythe.

Authorities have described the victim as a woman in her 20s with shaggy, wild blonde hair. She was found wearing a T-shirt with a motorcycle print and had a tattoo of two small dots on the left side of her right thumb. They believe she had connections to Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County, with potential ties to Las Vegas and southern Nevada.

The victim’s biological father has been identified, but her maternal side of the family is suspected to have ties to Louisiana and/or southeast Texas. District Attorney Mike Hestrin has urged anyone with information to come forward to help identify and reunite the victim with her family.

The Riverside County DA’s Office is working with the Regional Cold Case Homicide Team and is asking for the public’s help in identifying the victim. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Cold Case Hotline at (951) 955-5567 or email coldcaseunit@rivcoda.org.