top of page

Cold Case Arrest: Gainesville man charged with murder 36 years after the crime

Aloysius Winthrop James, 57, was arrested on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in Gainesville, Georgia.Photo bySanta Maria Police Department/Facebook

A nearly 40-year-old murder case in California linked back to Gainesville, Georgia, where authorities arrested a man for the crime.

Police arrested Aloysius Winthrop James, 57, and charged him with the murder of Ofelia Sandoval. The 30-year-old Santa Maria, California, woman was murdered at the Town Center Motel in Santa Maria on Sept. 18, 1988, according to police.

Officers took James into custody on April 16 while serving an arrest warrant at his Gainesville residence. Cracking the decades-old cold case required teamwork among several different states, police departments, investigators, and district attorneys’ offices. The Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Gainesville Police Department, and FBI Task Force in Gainesville assisted with his arrest.

Police released four photos of James from 1988 to present.

While James is now a resident of Gainesville, the Santa Maria Police Department (SMPD) says he was a Santa Maria resident at the time of the murder. Police believe James may be linked to other crimes that have gone unreported.

“Detectives believe there may be other unreported crimes and additional victims related to James involving threats, sexual assault, domestic abuse and other crimes. The Santa Maria Police Department understands there may be victims who are hesitant to come forward about reporting as the subject matter could be sensitive,” SMPD said in a press release. They added that advocates will be available to assist anyone who comes forward throughout the process.

While James is now a resident of Gainesville, the Santa Maria Police Department (SMPD) says he was a Santa Maria resident at the time of the murder. Police believe James may be linked to other crimes that have gone unreported.

“Detectives believe there may be other unreported crimes and additional victims related to James involving threats, sexual assault, domestic abuse and other crimes. The Santa Maria Police Department understands there may be victims who are hesitant to come forward about reporting as the subject matter could be sensitive,” SMPD said in a press release. They added that advocates will be available to assist anyone who comes forward throughout the process.

If you have any information about James’ involvement in this or any other violent or sexual crimes, please contact Santa Maria Police Department Detective Nate Craven at (805) 928-3781 ext. 1610 or ncraven@cityofsantamaria.org.

276 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page