Riverside Police Department Press Release

For Immediate Release

Date Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Contact Steven Frasher, Press Information Officer
Phone (951) 826-5147

Suspect arrested for 1985 murder of security guard
Retired police officer slain during armed robbery shootout at Tyler Mall;
New technologies and DNA evidence identify murder suspect

Riverside, Ca- Riverside Police detectives and members of the Inland Regional Apprehension Team arrested a suspect Thursday for the December 16, 1985, murder of Frederick A. Taylor, 54, who was working as a security guard for two bank employees collecting night deposits at the Tyler Mall, 3600 Tyler St. in Riverside.

Retired Sergeant
Fred Taylor

The suspect, Leslie Gene Parker, 47, was arrested at his home in Perris, CA, on May 3, 2007, after DNA samples collected from the crime scene in 1985 and submitted in recent years to the U.S. Department of Justice for review, provided a match through CODIS, the FBI Laboratory's national Combined DNA Index System.

There was an armored car strike during December of 1985. Fred Taylor, a retired Riverside Police officer, was hired by First Interstate Bank to provide armed plainsclothes security for cash transfers. Two employees of the mall branch of First Interstate Bank were picking up night deposits from an enclosure at the south end of the mall, between the former May Co. and Chauncey’s restaurant locations. At 9:15 a.m., the employees were confronted by two suspects, one armed with a handgun. A shootout ensued between security guard Taylor and the suspect, now identified as Parker. The guard managed to shoot the suspect, who escaped with a male accomplice and some of the deposit bags the employees had been transferring, which contained an undisclosed amount of cash.

Taylor, who had served as an officer and sergeant with the Riverside Police Department from 1955 to 1972, was also wounded in the shootout. He died about an hour later at Riverside General Hospital from injuries to internal organs.

Suspect Leslie Gene Parker

Blood samples found in the abandoned getaway car were matched through the federal DNA database to a sample provided by Parker some years later.

Suspect Les Parker is charged with murder with the special circumstance of robbery and use of a gun during the commission of the crime. Parker made his first appearance in court on these charges on Monday afternoon, May 7; the arraignment was continued until May 30. If convicted, Parker could face life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.

“Investigators are always looking for new leads on old cases. New technologies give determined investigators a valuable tool linking suspects to the scenes of their crimes, even after decades have passed,” said Chief of Police Russ Leach.

"This crime, involving the shooting death of a former peace officer, was solved due in large part to the outstanding investigative work by the Riverside Police Department,” said District Attorney Rod Pacheco. “The Taylor family has waited a long time for this day and we promise them that justice will now be served."

Riverside Police continue to actively search for the second suspect in 1985 robbery-murder. Anyone with information helpful to this investigation is urged to call Detectives Greg Rowe at (951) 353-7136 or Dave Smith at (951) 353-7103.

The Taylor homicide is the second Riverside “cold” case solved this year through a DNA match with a previously unidentified suspect.

Charges were filed February 13 against Mark Robert Peterson, 54, of Ontario, CA, for the April 15, 2004 murder of Victor Camarillo, a 58-year-old landscape worker from Pomona, behind a Riverside Wal-Mart store on Canyon Springs Parkway.

The gardener had been working trimming trees not far from store site. An assailant was seen attacking Camarillo with a weapon. DNA evidence collected at the scene and submitted to the California Department of Justice Crime Lab in 2004, came up as a “cold hit” match with a sample taken from Peterson during a previous arrest. Riverside Police arrested Peterson on February 8, 2007.