Paul Chartrand

Paul Jean Chartrand has been identified as the lead suspect in the homicide of 37-year-old Barbara Becker on March 21, 1979, in La Jolla, California. The case has been cleared by exception due to the death of Chartrand.

Becker was found dead in her living room by her two sons, then aged 7 and 9, when they came home from school. There appeared to have been a struggle in the course of an attempted burglary, and the killer was injured in the fight.

A DNA profile of the suspect was obtained from blood left at the scene. No matches to this profile were found in CODIS.

The FIGG investigation was conducted by Barbara Rae-Venter and a team that worked on the investigation into the Golden State Killer, including Stephen Kramer, Melissa Parisot, Monica Czajkowski, and Kirk Campbell. In October 2018, San Diego police engaged the assistance of the FBIs Investigative Genealogy Unit. Relatives of Chartrand voluntarily gave their DNA samples to police. Chartrand passed away in Phoenix, Arizona in 1995.


Avitabile, Rafael. “DNA Tech Helps SDPD Solve 40-Year-Old Cold Case.” NBC 7 San Diego, March 21, 2019. Accessed December 12, 2020.

Figueroa, Teri. “In a First for San Diego Police, Genetic Genealogy Helps Solve 1979 Homicide.” Hartford Courant, March 21, 2019. Accessed December 12, 2020.

Find a Grave. “Paul Roger Jean Chartrand.” Find a Grave (Memorial No. 120553357). Accessed December 12, 2020.

Rae-Venter, Barbara. Personal Communication. January 3, 2024.

Shapiro, Emily. “DNA, Genetic Genealogy Identify San Diego Mom’s Murderer After 40 Years: Police.” ABC News, March 22, 2019. Accessed December 12, 2020.


First Name Paul
Last Name Chartrand
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started 2018-10-00
Case Cleared 2019-03-21
IGG Org FBI IGU; Barbara Rae-Venter


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1182 Barbara Becker 37 1979-03-21 La Jolla, CA San Diego PD Second degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

Last updated: February 13, 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.