Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charge in Scripps Ranch Cold Case

Handcuffs
Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo

A man accused of killing a woman in Scripps Ranch more than three decades ago pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a decades-old murder charge.

Randall Oyler, 62, is accused in the slaying of 47-year-old Margaret Orozco Jackson, whose body was discovered on July 11, 1990. San Diego police said Jackson was found on a hillside off Scripps Ranch Boulevard with a rope around her neck.

Oyler, who was 29-years-old on the day Jackson’s body was discovered, faces up to 25 years to life in state prison if convicted.

He remains in custody without bail following Wednesday’s arraignment.

Police have not commented on what exactly led to Oyler’s identification as a suspect in Jackson’s slaying, other than to say “detectives developed new information and probable cause that identified” him as the alleged killer.

The San Diego Police Homicide Cold Case Unit reopened the case last year and reexamined the evidence through “an exhaustive process of following leads, processing and examining physical evidence collected from the original crime scene and interviewing potential witnesses,” San Diego police said.

Oyler was already in custody for an alleged probation violation when he was arrested last Thursday in connection with Jackson’s death, SDPD Lt. Adam Sharki said.

Jackson’s niece, Andrea Carrasco, was among the victim’s family members who attended another court hearing for Oyler earlier this week

She told reporters after the hearing that her aunt “was a beautiful woman” who was “happy-go-lucky” and devoted to her family.

Carrasco said she remembered watching the news with her mother in 1990 when a report aired about the body’s discovery. While the victim’s identification had not been released at the time, the news report mentioned a distinctive tattoo on the victim’s leg that Carrasco’s mother recognized.

After so many years, family members had not expected the capture of a suspect, Carrasco said, and many of Jackson’s close relatives have since died.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Carrasco said. “We’re just happy to know it’s finally coming to a close.”