Crime Trackers: PCSD names person of interest in 34-year-old col - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: PCSD names person of interest in 34-year-old cold case

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Brenda Gerow was murdered 34 years ago. Up until last September, she was only known as Jane Doe.

Hunters found her remains by the Pima County Fairgrounds in April 1981. Pima County Sheriff's Department cold case detectives has named a person of interest in the case.

John Kalhauser is currently serving time in prison for the 1995 murder of his wife. Cold case detectives canvassed a Southside neighborhood looking for people who may have seen the couple in the early 1980s.

John Kalhauser was going by the name of Don Stecchi. Detectives said he came to Tucson with Brenda Gerow in 1980. They moved to the Old Pueblo from New Hampshire. He was 27-years-old. She was 20-years-old when she was brutally murdered in 1981.

“We believe Mr. Kalhauser, also Mr. Stecchi, was with our victim and the last person seen with our victim back in 1981,” Det. Charles Garcia said.

Autopsy results showed Gerow had been severely beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled.

Detectives went to the area of South Sixth and Inez. They went door to door asking if anyone had lived there during the early 1980s.

Garcia and Miguel Flores were particularly interested in the corner house where John Kalhauser's brother lived. Their names were Bob and Joanne. Both have since died.

Detectives showed pictures of John Kalhauser from the early 80s. They also had pictures of the victim.

One neighbor said Gerow’s picture looked familiar.

Her picture was found in Kalhauser's possession while he was being investigated by Tucson police for the 1995 disappearance of his wife, Diane Van Reeth.

Another neighbor said she recognized Tannhauser, and her brother would probably remember him. He now lived in California, so detectives were going to contact him.

If people were not home, detectives left a business card.

Garcia said he was pleased with the results, especially since it is a 34-year-old cold case. 

“We still have to try," said Garcia. "In trying, we did get some encouraging news today, and hopefully that will lead us to some more information “

Detectives will set up appointments with the residents who have information and take their statements. In the meantime, if you have information, you are urged to call 911. If you want to remain anonymous, call 88-CRIME. 

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