On August 26, 1976, Cynthia May Hernandez, a recent high school graduate, drove to the Fox Twin Theaters in Covina to see a movie—she never came home.
The next morning, her family located her unoccupied vehicle in the theater parking lot. When they could not find her, they immediately filed a missing person’s report with the Glendora Police Department.
On October 17, 2016, forty years after her disappearance, 61-year-old Larry James Allred was sentenced to life in California state prison for the murder of 18-year-old Hernandez.
On Sunday July 30, the television show “On the Case with Paula Zahn” (Investigation Discovery channel) told the story of the young woman’s shocking murder, and the efforts of the Glendora Police Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office to solve the case.
“Thanks to great investigative work of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Glendora Police Department, we were able to identify the suspect who murdered young Cynthia forty years ago,” said District Attorney Mike Ramos. “They never gave up. While Cynthia’s family will never have the chance to see her again, hopefully they can find some comfort in knowing her killer is locked up in prison where he belongs.”
Allred pled guilty to one felony count of first degree murder. According to California law in 1976, when the crime was committed, the maximum sentence Allred can serve is seven years to life in prison.
This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Denise Yoakum, assigned to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Cold Case Unit. Following Allred's sentencing in October 2016, Yoakum described her motivation for never giving up on this case. "For forty years we had a victim without justice, a family without answers, and a killer amongst us," she said. "Cindy's family didn't know whether she was alive or dead. This is exactly why the Cold Case team never gives up."
While Hernandez's family will never forget their loved one and the heartache of what happened, it was hopefully a relief that, like them, the San Bernardino County Cold Case team never gave up.