MARTINEZ — When 14-yr-old Suzanne Bombardier arrived at her sister’s Antioch condominium to babysit her nieces on June 21, 1980, she introduced a sewing device together with her overnight bag.
Suzanne’s prepare was to sew clothing for Barbie dolls, make evening meal, set the kids to rest, then check out Tv right until she fell asleep even though her sister, Stephanie Mullen, returned from operating a evening change at a nearby Mexican restaurant and bar known as Chichén Itzá. Instead, Suzanne disappeared, sparking a four-day look for right up until her human body was found out together the Antioch River. She’d been stabbed the moment in the chest.
The scenario went chilly right until December 2017, when a 2 times-convicted sex offender named Mitchell Lynn Bacom was linked to the criminal offense by DNA. Now, four many years right after Bacom’s arrest and virtually 42 years immediately after Suzanne’s loss of life, Bacom has long gone ahead of a Contra Costa County jury.
The very initially prosecution witness was Mullen, the previous of Suzanne’s cherished ones to see her alive and an acquaintance of Bacom, who dated him briefly. Mullen recounted her remaining conversation with her sister: She was invited to a birthday celebration immediately after operate that working day, so she had Suzanne run some clothing above from her condominium a limited distance away.
“Did you see Suzie that night?” deputy district legal professional Mary Knox asked Mullen, who began to cry.
“Yes, and my regret is that I did not go up and hug her and say bye,” Mullen reported, incorporating that they waved to a person a further as Suzanne was strolling out. “I didn’t know that was the final time I would see her.”
Mullen returned residence around 4:30 a.m. and went straight to bed. She woke up in the subsequent morning, began cookie pancakes, and planned to drive Suzanne back to their mother’s house after breakfast. She explained to her daughters to go upstairs and notify Suzanne breakfast was ready, only they couldn’t obtain her.
“They came down and explained, ‘Mom, Suzie’s not in this article,’” Mullen mentioned. “I ran out and began contacting her identify.”
Mullen’s mind raced. It was uncharacteristic of the 14-yr-aged honor university student to up and go away like that, and she started off likely through doable explanations. It’s possible Suzanne walked household. Perhaps she walked to the shopping mall a couple blocks absent. Probably she was participating in with a woman her age who lived in the similar condominium advanced. When all people choices were fatigued, they termed police.
That kicked off a 5-day “living hell” exactly where the loved ones was interviewed by FBI brokers and Antioch detectives, a wiretap was put on their cellphone in circumstance Suzanne’s kidnapper known as, and reporters staked out the family’s household.
Then an FBI agent identified as the family and reported that a system had been observed.
“We were being just praying like crap that it was not her,” Mullen mentioned. But a quick time later, their worst fears ended up confirmed. Irrespective of originally believing Suzanne’s eye shade did not match that of the entire body, authorities advised the relatives they confirmed verified Suzanne’s identification via dental information.
“My mom handed out and fell on the ground,” Mullen mentioned. “And about an hour later, (Suzanne’s) report vehicle got there. All A-pluses.”
For the duration of cross-examination, Mullen was questioned about her connection with Bacom, which includes whether or not they have been personal and if she acquired the impact he was into just about anything “kinky.” Bacom’s legal professional, deputy public defender Cynthia Scofield, also asked Mullen about a different person she’d briefly dated who was refusing to get a trace. Mullen testified that male showed up drunk, 6-pack of beer in hand, demanding a further prospect with her, about 12 hrs prior to Mullen remaining to go to get the job done the evening before Suzanne went missing.
For the duration of her opening statements, Scofield recommended that she will argue the other gentleman was responsible, but did not detail for jurors just how she expects to establish her client’s innocence. She did say she was self-assured that by the trial’s conclude, Bacom will be cleared.
Knox advised jurors she will introduce proof that inbound links Bacom’s DNA to the sexual assault on Bombardier. Jurors will also get to listen to about two sexual assault convictions, like a 1981 conviction for compelled sodomy on a individual young than 14 that set him in jail for 12 years. In 1980, Bacom was living in Iselton and performing as a mechanic.
Out of the jury’s presence, Knox also instructed the courtroom she was nonetheless sorting via several big binders total of pornographic pictures observed on Bacom’s telephone, some of which will be “presented to the jury” to establish that Bacom is a sexual deviant.
Bacom, 67, arrived to court dressed in a formal sweater and slacks, with a whitish grey beard and his hair slicked back again. It is unclear no matter whether he will consider the stand and endeavor to convince jurors of his innocence.