Arrest made in 32-year-old San Mateo County killing of Sharon Ray

Arrest made in 32-year-old San Mateo County killing of Sharon Ray

By Mark Gomez – San Jose Mercury News

SAN MATEO COUNTY — A 67-year-old man living in Topock, Arizona was arrested Monday in connection with the murder and sexual assault of Sharon Ray, a young woman whose body was found on Pescadero State Beach more than 30 years ago.

John Joseph Scott was arrested by detectives Monday and is currently undergoing extradition proceedings to be transported to San Mateo County, according to the sheriff’s office.

Ray’s body was found on Oct. 30, 1983 by two sightseers who reported what they believed was a woman partially buried in the sand at Pescadero State Beach. The sheriff’s office investigation determined that Ray, a 19-year-old San Francisco woman, had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

During the initial investigation, Scott, then 35, was identified as a possible suspect and arrested on suspicion of murder, according to the sheriff’s office. According to witnesses, Scott was the last person seen with Ray in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.

But Scott was eventually released and not prosecuted because of insufficient evidence.

Earlier this year, Ray’s murder case was reopened and items of evidence were sent to the San Mateo County Forensic Lab for further analysis, according to a sheriff’s office release. Biological evidence was located and a DNA profile from that evidence was obtained, linking Scott to the murder.

The sheriff’s office did not specify why the case was reopened or what evidence linked Scott to the murder.

Anyone who may have any further information about this crime is asked to contact Detective Scott Berberian of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office at 650-363-4051 or by email at Those wishing to remain anonymous can call 800-547-2700.



Skip to content