Crime Q&A

What are the details of the shooting death of Sacramento County sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Boone on Oct. 25, 1979? Boone was posthumously awarded for the Sheriff’s Department Medal of Valor.

Jerry K., Sacramento

Detective Christopher W. Boone, 31, was shot and killed while on a surveillance assignment at the residence of a woman who had been the victim of a series of obscene and threatening phone calls.

According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department website, on the morning of Oct. 25, 1979, the suspect called the woman while Boone was at the home and indicated that he intended to confront her at the home that day. The suspect arrived at the residence a short time later.

When the suspect, later identified as Robert Leroy Day, entered the home, Boone identified himself and told Day that he was under arrest. Day attempted to run from the residence, but Boone caught him at the front door. In the struggle that followed, Boone was fatally shot.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, a subsequent investigation determined that Day had come to the residence intending to sexually assault the woman.

Day was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Now 56 years old, he is at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione.

Boone was posthumously awarded the Sheriff’s Department Medal of Valor. In 1986, the Sheriff’s Department’s north station was officially dedicated in his memory.

In the early to mid-1990s, I remember a story that had me fearing strangers as a young kid. There was a man who abducted a woman and two or three children. Their vehicle was discovered later in the forest, burned, with the family in the trunk. Is the convicted killer still alive?

Anonymous, Southport

You may be referring to the brutal slaying of three Yosemite sightseers in 1999.

Carole Sund, 42, of Eureka, her 15-year-old daughter Juli and 16-year-old family friend Silvina Pelosso of Argentina were murdered by Cary Stayner, a motel handyman. According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, Stayner got into the women’s motel room in El Portal late the night of Feb. 15 by claiming that he was a maintenance man checking for a leak in the bathroom.

When he came out of the bathroom, he pulled a gun and told the women he wanted their money and the keys to their car. He bound all three with duct tape, then strangled Carole Sund and Pelosso and put their bodies in the trunk of their rental car. He used the car to transport Juli Sund to Tuolumne County, where he carried her to a secluded area, sexually assaulted her and killed her. He abandoned and burned the car with the two women’s bodies inside.

About a month later, the FBI received a handwritten, anonymous letter that included a map directing them to Juli Sund’s body.

Authorities said Stayner was interviewed by police following the disappearance of the Sunds and Pelosso. He was not considered a suspect until he was arrested for killing Yosemite nature guide Joie Armstrong outside her cabin in July 1999. Days later, he confessed to all four killings.

Stayner pleaded guilty to Armstrong’s slaying in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole, but state prosecutors refused to make a deal in the triple-murder case.

In August 2002, a Santa Clara County jury convicted him of kidnapping and murder in the deaths of the Sunds and Pelosso. The same jury later found him to have been sane at the time of the crimes and, in the penalty phase of the trial, decided that he should be executed.

Now 52 years old, Stayner remains on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Back in the mid ’90s, Carol Blake was murdered when she opened the front door of her house in Orangevale. Was the case ever solved?

Tish, Orangevale

The May 20, 1996, slaying of 45-year-old Carol Blake at her home on Wild Horse Court in Orangevale remains unsolved.

According to stories in The Bee, Blake was gunned down in the doorway of the home. She was found about 2 p.m. by her husband and one of their three daughters. The front door was open and Carol Blake was lying in the entryway.

Sacramento County sheriff’s officials said the door of the house did not appear to have been forced open, and there were no signs that the residence had been robbed or ransacked. Investigators said it appeared Blake’s attacker never entered the home.

Neighbors who were home that afternoon told authorities that they neither heard nor saw anything unusual.

Blake was a social worker who had recently received her master’s degree in social work and counseled children and families. Shortly before her death, she had started a job doing background checks for adoptions.

Sacto 9-1-1 handles questions about cases in the region. Submit your questions at sacbee.com/sacto911.