PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – In 1987, a 6-year-old boy was found dead on Sherman Island in Sacramento County four days after being abducted near his Vallejo, Calif., home.

Nearly four decades later, police arrested Fred Cain III of Central Point on Sept. 18, 2023 after DNA technology connected him to the crime and exonerated a previous suspect, according to the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.

“I am so thankful to have such dedicated cold case investigators that no matter how much time goes by they remain steadfast in their commitment to solving these horrific cases,” said District Attorney Krishna Abrams.

  • Fred Cain was arrested at his home in Central Point, Oregon and charged with the 1987 murder of a child in California, September 26, 2023 (Solano County Sheriff)

Cain will be transferred to Solano County after waiving extradition in Oregon. He faces charges of murder with special circumstance allegations of kidnapping and sodomy.

After an autopsy revealed the child had been sexually assaulted, a man named Shawn Melton was previously named a suspect because “he appeared to have knowledge only the person responsible” would know, officials say. Melton was charged with murder and kidnapping, but the case was dismissed when a jury could not reach a verdict.

In 2014, Abrams reinstated a cold case unit to “hold offenders accountable, seek long awaited justice, and bring closure for all the victims’ families that had been greatly impacted.”