David Misch — a convicted murderer who is already in jail — has been charged with kidnapping and murdering 9-year-old Michaela Joy Garecht, who went missing 32 years ago.
The 59-year-old is set to be arraigned on Tuesday, December 22, on murder and kidnapping charges after Garecht was kidnapped outside a supermarket in Hayward, Calif., on November 19, 1988. Garecht left the supermarket to get her friend’s scooter, which the kidnapper moved closer to his car in an effort to easily abduct her.
Garchet was never seen or heard from again, and her body or any of her remains were never found. However, fingerprints from the scooter Garecht was riding at the time matched Misch’s, which is how they were able to charge him for the unthinkable crime. Eyewitness evidence places Misch at the exact location when the incident happened.
“This crime shocked not just the local community, but the entire Bay Area and the nation,” Alameda County district attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a statement. “I hope that today’s action and announcement will provide some comfort to Michaela’s family in knowing that justice will prevail, even after 32 years since this horrible crime.”
Hayward Police Department never stopped looking for the man who killed Garecht, but on the 30th anniversary of Garecht’s kidnapping, the fingerprint examiner gave authorities new persons of interest, which included Misch.
“We hope this announcement will bring Michaela’s family closer to the peace they deserve for so many years,” Hayward Police chief Toney Chaplin said during a press conference.
Following the news, Garecht’s mother, Sharon Murch, wrote on her personal blog about how she was feeling about the small victory. “What you will hear about from me is the only thing I care about. Michaela. And maybe love, maybe grief, maybe faith, although I have to tell you I feel as though I am wandering around lost,” she wrote. “I am looking, looking again for the answers I thought I had found, but all I can find right now is emptiness. There has been this really big feeling that has been rolling around inside me, creating a giant hole, and just this morning I figured out what it is.
“And to Michaela, I am so so so sorry baby girl. I feel as though I let you down in a million ways,” she added. “I was listening to 'Rescue' by Lauren Daigle yesterday. This has been my song for you, and I broke down because I had not been able to rescue you, because I had never ever been able to rescue you.”
Murch also detailed her disdain for Misch. “He is in prison for murder, and is currently on trial for two other murders. He is a monster. Seriously what drives a human being to do something like this? What even enables him to?” she wrote.
If Misch is convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Misch is currently behind bars at Santa Rita jail in Alameda County. He has been in jail since 1989 after he was convicted of murdering a woman near Hayward; he is also suspected of killing two women in Fremont, Calif., in 1986 and is currently awaiting trial.
Misch was convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of Margaret Ball, 36, who was found stabbed to death in her home in December 1989.
Prior to that, Misch was also accused of murdering his friends Michelle Xavier, 18, and Jennifer Duey, 20, in 1986. After the ladies went to dinner, they went to a convenience store and were never seen again.