Police connect missing Marine with 1974 murder - Tucson News Now

Police connect missing Marine with 1974 murder

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Marine Oral Stuart Marine Oral Stuart
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A former Marine believed to have gone AWOL decades ago has been found.

Carl Stuart believes his brother was murdered and he said the way he was killed coincides with the way two serial killers operated in southern California in the mid 1970s.

"My mom and dad both went to their graves not knowing what happened to their son," said Carl Stuart.

In 1974, new Marine Oral Stuart was named a "deserter" as far as the Marines were concerned and named John Doe No. 155 in Long Beach Police Department's murder files. The connection between him being a Marine and a murder victim wasn't done until 37 years later.

"It's nice not to have to wonder where my brother is anymore," said Carl Stuart.

The man found naked and beaten at the El Dorado Lakes community in Long Beach in 1974, John Doe No. 155, was in fact Oral Stuart.

"He was 18 years old, he had a Marine tattoo on his shoulder, I don't know too many 18-year-olds in 1974 who had Marine tattoos on them, so I kind of feel like the Police Department and the Marines did a poor job and let it roll down the road," said Carl Stuart.

Carl Stuart describes his younger brother as a mama's boy and didn't think his brother would suddenly leave what he loved so much.

"He was a victim of homicide and they believe he was the victim of a serial killer, he had no clothes on him, no ID, no nothing," he said.

Carl Stuart specifically recalls serial killer Randy Kraft, who was suspected of preying on men just like Carl Stuart's brother and was sentenced to death in 1989.

"That was his preference - young, soft looking and also the fact that he was a Marine," said Carl Stuart.

Kraft also picked up hitchhikers and young men at bars. Carl Stuart said his brother was drunk that night he was murdered and hitchhiked since about age 14.

"I figured he got in the car with the wrong guy and he killed him," he said.

Long Beach police was awarded some special funding to look into cold cases, and this was one of those cases. According to Carl Stuart, it took the detective six weeks to put it all together.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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