Michael Ray Schlicht : “Man Killed 49 Years Ago in CA Identified as Iowa Resident, Potential Victim of Serial Killer”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Authorities have finally identified the remains of a man who was killed almost five decades ago in California. The victim, Michael Ray Schlicht, was an Iowa resident and is believed to be one of the earliest victims of a notorious serial killer who preyed on young men in the 1970s and ’80s. Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigators utilized genetic genealogy to identify Schlicht’s body, which had been listed as “John Doe” for years.

Schlicht’s body was discovered near a road in Laguna Beach, California, on September 14, 1974. The initial belief was that the teenager had died from accidental alcohol and diazepam intoxication. However, investigators later realized that there were other young men who died in a similar manner in the same area. These deaths were eventually classified as homicides, leading authorities to suspect that Schlicht was a victim of the notorious “Scorecard Killer.”

The “Scorecard Killer,” also known as Randy Steven Kraft, was arrested in 1983 after a dead man was found in his car during a routine traffic stop. The passenger, Terry Lee Gambrel, had empty beer bottles and an open prescription bottle of Lorazepam around his feet. Kraft was convicted of 16 murders, but authorities found a coded list of what they believe to be the names of 67 victims in his trunk. However, charges were not filed for the additional 10 suspected murders.

The breakthrough in identifying Schlicht’s body came with the advent of investigative genetic genealogy. Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigators submitted tissue samples from the victim to a private forensic biotechnology company in order to develop a DNA profile. By comparing the DNA to potential relatives, they were able to connect Schlicht to his grandparents in Iowa. Further investigation revealed that a granddaughter of the couple had not seen her brother since April 1974. DNA samples from the woman’s mother confirmed the match.

While Kraft is currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, it remains to be seen if he will be charged with Schlicht’s death. The decision lies with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. For investigators like Lauren Felix, who worked on Schlicht’s case, the identification brought a sense of closure to the victim’s family, who had been waiting for answers for almost 50 years.

Authorities are continuing to work on Schlicht’s case and are appealing to the public for any information that may assist in their investigation.

Leave a Comment