David Misch, 59, has finally been charged with the 1988 murder of 9-year-old Michaela Garecht after DNA evidence connected him to the crime scene 30 years later.
Michaela was kidnapped outside of Rainbow Market in Hayward on the morning of November 19, 1988. She was attempting to retrieve her friend’s scooter, which had been moved closer to the suspect’s car while she and her pal were inside the market. The suspect snatched Michaela and dragged her into his car, but not before witnesses caught a glimpse of the scene.
The kidnapper was described as being in his mid-20s with dirty blond, shoulder-length hair. He was also noted to have been driving a tan or gold four-door sedan with damage to the front bumper. Despite these clues, neither the suspect nor Michaela’s remains were located and the case went cold.
Before he became a suspect in Michaela’s case, Misch was already in prison for committing three other other murders that occurred around the same time that Michaela was abducted. In 1986, Misch fatally shot and stabbed Michelle Xavier, 18, and Jennifer Duey, 20, in Fremont, California near San Francisco. Nobody was arrested in their killings for several decades.
In 1989, 36-year-old Margaret Ball was found stabbed to death in her Hayward home, which is located 20 minutes north Fremont. In 1990, Misch was convicted in Ball’s murder and was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison.
In 2018, Misch was charged with the double homicide of Xavier and Duey. This year, while awaiting trial for these killings, Misch was investigated for his connection in Michaela’s case.
After police began to re-examine Michaela’s case, they found a palm print that had been left on the scooter at the crime scene. After DNA comparison, the print turned out to be a match for Misch’s own print.
Misch has been charged with murder with special circumstances and could face the death penalty. He is currently being held in Santa Rita Jail.