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Conifer man arrested in 1978 cold case homicide of 15-year-old girl

Police said Mark Personette is suspected in the March 1978 murder of 15-year-old Marissa Rolf Harvey in San Francisco.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A Conifer man has been arrested on murder charges in connection with the death of a 15-year-old girl in San Francisco in 1978, according to the San Francisco Police Department. 

Mark Stanley Personette, 76, was arrested Thursday and booked into the Jefferson County jail.

Police said Personette is suspected in the March 1978 murder of 15-year-old Marissa Rolf Harvey. Marissa had traveled from New York to visit her family in San Francisco, according to police. She visited Golden Gate Park on March 27, 1978, but never returned. Her body was found the next day in nearby Sutro Heights Park. 

Police said officers exhausted every lead at the time, but the investigation went cold. In October 2020, the department reopened the case using "advanced investigate methods," according to police.

Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Mark Personette

Personette's arrest came as part of a joint operation by the San Francisco Police Department, San Francisco District Attorney's Office, FBI, and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

San Francisco police are now asking other law enforcement agencies across the country to "thoroughly review their sexual-assault-related cold-case homicides involving young women to identify any other incidents in which Personette may be a suspect."

Credit: San Francisco Police Department
A photo of Mark Personette from a 1979 arrest

Police are asking anyone with additional information about the case to call Sgt. Alan Levy, Star #4216, of the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide detail at 415-553-9245 or email alan.levy@sfgov.org.

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