Eddie Anderson

Eddie Lee Anderson was arrested on May 24, 2019, at his home in New Orleans for the 1976 murder of Leslie Penrod Harris in Costa Mesa, California. Penrod Harris and her husband had just moved to the area. On the evening of May 17, 1976, Leslie had stepped out while she and her husband were having dinner at a restaurant in Costa Mesa, and never returned. Her nude body was found early the next morning by military police. She had been sexually assaulted and died by strangulation.

This case was reopened in 2017, and a DNA profile was obtained from autopsy swabs. This DNA profile was used to do familial searching of the California state DNA database, but this produced no leads. In August of 2018, investigators turned to FGG. The FGG investigation in this case was conducted by the FBI Investigative Genealogy Unit (IGU). The initial confirmation was made when Anderson voluntarily provided a DNA sample to police.
The charges against Anderson are currently pending in Orange County Superior Court. At the time of the murder, Anderson was stationed as a Marine at the nearby Marine Corp Air Station El Toro and he lived very close to the restaurant from where Penrod Harris disappeared.

Anderson died in December of 2020 from complications due to COVID-19 while awaiting trial. He was 68 years old.


Bonvillian, Crystal. “Former Marine Arrested in 1976 California Slaying Following DNA Hit Through Genealogy Site.” WSB-TV 2 News Atlanta, June 5, 2019. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.wsbtv.com/news/trending-now/former-marine-arrested-in-1976-slaying-following-dna-hit-through-genealogy-site/955540716/.

KTLA Digital Staff. “68-Year-Old O.C. Inmate Accused in 1976 Killing Dies After Testing Positive for Coronavirus.” KTLA News 5, December 18, 2020. Accessed December 28, 2021. https://ktla.com/news/local-news/68-year-old-o-c-inmate-accused-in-1976-killing-dies-after-testing-positive-for-coronavirus/.

KTLA News. “Former Marine Arrested in 1976 Killing of Woman Who Disappeared from Costa Mesa Restaurant.” Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2019. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-cold-case-arrest-20190530-story.html.

Orange County DA. “OCSD Arrests Man Suspected in 1976 Cold Case Murder.” Orange County DA (Press Release), May 30, 2019. Accessed December 10, 2020. http://orangecountyda.org/civica/press/display.asp?layout=12&Entry=5871.


First Name Eddie
Last Name Anderson
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started 2018-08-00
Case Cleared 2019-05-24


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1209 Leslie Penrod Harris 30 1976-05-17 Costa Mesa, Orange CO, CA Orange County HFT Second degree murder Suspect died while the trial was ongoing Orange CO SUP CT

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.