Christian Gerhartsreiter has been charged with the murder of John Sohus. Sohus’ remains were found in 1994, buried in the backyard of a San Marino home that once belonged to his mother. Gerhartsreiter, living under an assumed name, had been a tenant in the Sohus’ guesthouse.
John and his wife Linda, both LASFS members, disappeared in 1985. Linda is still missing.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed the charges on March 15. In the single-count indictment prosecutors allege Gerhartsreiter used a “blunt object” to kill John Sohus.
The Boston Herald reports that prosecutors are seeking Gerhartsreiter’s arrest and extradition from Massachusetts, where he is serving time for kidnapping his daughter during a custody dispute:
Ellen Sohus, John Sohus’s younger sister, said she received a call from Los Angeles authorities earlier this afternoon telling her about the charges against Gerhartsreiter.
“We feel like that this has been a very, very long ordeal over the last 25 years and it gives us hope that we will have closure, finally,” she said in a telephone interview from her home in Arizona.
The statement by prosecutors today was the first time they had acknowledged that they had determined the remains found in the yard belonged to John Sohus.
Gerhartsreiter’s lawyer, Jeffrey Denner, who represented him during his kidnapping trial, said his client is innocent.
Christian Gerhartsreiter was living under the name Clark Rockefeller when he was arrested on charges of kidnapping his daughter. He has admitted being “Christopher Chichester”, previously sought as a “person of interest” in the Sohus disappearance.
Vanity Fair, in a 2009 article, said that during the 1994 search “along with human bones, investigators found a flannel shirt and blue jeans, John Sohus’s standard dress. (Using the chemical luminol, they also detected traces of blood on the floor of Chichester’s apartment.)”