Craig Peyer

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CALIFORNIA V. PEYER

California v. Peyer
Case Title: Defendant Craig Peyer
Superior Court Case Number CDC# D-93018
Crime: Penal Code 187 (first-degree murder)
Offense Date: 12-27-86
Date Convicted: 6-22-88
Judgment: 25 years-to-life
Case Location: San Diego

SYNOPSIS/EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In the early morning of 28 December 1986 Cara Knott’s Volkswagen (VW) was discovered abandoned off of the Mercy road off-ramp, East of Interstate 15 (I-15) in San Diego. The keys were in the ignition, and her personal belongings to include a credit card were inside the car, unfortunately there was no signed of the 20 year old university student. The previous night around 8 p.m. Cara had called her parents to notify them that she was on her way home from her boyfriend’s house in Escondido, a drive that normally would take about 45 minutes. When she had not arrived by 10 p.m. her family went out to search for her along I-15. It was Cynthia (Cara’s sister) and her husband that found Cara’s VW on the side of the isolated off-ramp; Cara’s body was subsequently found in a creek bed 65 feet below. Cara had been strangled and thrown off the nearby bridge.
A couple of issues troubled the homicide investigators; why did Cara stop her car (which was in good working order) on one of the coldest nights of the year and why did she stop on a road that at that time led nowhere? Also, there was no sign of theft since her belongings were still in the car and there were no signs of a struggle or sexual assault. Her passenger door was locked but the driver’s window was partially rolled down. These clues led homicide investigators to believe that she had stopped for someone she trusted, maybe a policeman. Homicide detectives began to suspect one of their own; they focused their attention on California Highway Patrolman (CHP) Craig Peyer after several women came forward…...

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