From Bay City News:
Steven Carlson made an incriminating comment the day after 14-year-old Pleasanton high school student Tina Faelz was murdered in 1984, but Pleasanton police failed to follow up on it, a high school classmate
Todd Smith, 44, who attended Foothill High School with both Carlson and Faelz, said that the day after Faelz was killed on April 5, 1984, Carlson made a stabbing motion to his younger brother and said, "Come here little boy and let me kill you like I killed her."
Smith said he assumed Carlson was referring to Faelz because he had been with Carlson when they saw her walking home from school the previous day.
Smith was the second prosecution witness to testify in the preliminary hearing for Carlson, who was 16 at the time of the murder and is now 44. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if there's enough evidence to have Carlson stand trial on a charge that he murdered Faelz.
The prosecution's first witness, Dr. Thomas Rogers, testified that Faelz died from 44 stabbing and incised wounds.
Rogers said Faelz was stabbed multiple times in her back, torso, chin and head. He said some of her wounds appeared to be defensive, indicating that she might have tried to fight off her attacker.
The crime remained unsolved for 27 years until Pleasanton police announced in August 2011 that DNA evidence had linked Carlson to Faelz's death.
Her body was discovered the afternoon of April 5, 1984, in a drainage area adjacent to Interstate Highway 680, east of the high school.
The spot where Faelz was found was undeveloped at the time of the murder, and students would frequently pass through there on their way to and from school.
The cold case began to crack open in late 2007 when police re-examined the evidence using scientific analyses that weren't available in 1984. Evidence was submitted to two different laboratories for analysis.
In October 2010, information passed along to Pleasanton police by the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Va., led them to identify Carlson as a suspect in the murder.
Smith said Pleasanton police laughed him off when he called them to report Carlson's comment to his younger brother.
He said an officer told him, "Thanks, kid" and he believed he was "just blown off."
Smith said he had known Carlson for about five years at the time Faelz was killed and lived fairly close to him.
He testified that the day that Faelz was killed, Carlson was driving his mother's car shortly after school had ended for the day and asked Smith to ride with him.
The two then passed Faelz, who was on foot, at one point and Carlson said, "Tina" and soon turned around and drove Smith home, Smith said.
He said he was riding his Moped around his neighborhood a short time later when two friends came running out of a drainage area "screaming and yelling 'there's a body.'"
Smith said when he went down to the drainage area he spotted an object that "didn't look real" and "I thought it was fake" but when he kicked the object "I realized there was really a body."
Smith said he and several companions "came out screaming and yelling and called 911."
Smith said he saw Carlson at his home a short time later and "his hair was greasy or wet," which hadn't been the case when he had been with Carlson earlier. He said Carlson also was wearing swim trunks or shorts.
Smith said that when he told Carlson there was a body in the drainage area, Carlson said, "I'm not going down there."
He said he was surprised that Carlson wasn't interested in seeing the body because Carlson had always been interested in "morose and morbid" things.
As examples, he said Carlson once killed some lizards by putting them down the garbage disposal at his house and would occasionally grab cats by their tails and swing them in circles in the air to scare them.
Smith said Carlson also let bees sting him on his finger so he could watch them die.
Carlson's preliminary hearing will continue on Wednesday and is expected to conclude on Thursday.