Man tied to ’73 killing of California girl mulls extradition

February 21, 2019
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Several members of James Alan Neal's family leave El Paso County's Terry R. Harris Judicial Complex on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Neal, 72, was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Colorado Springs, Colo., and charged with murder with special circumstances in the death of Linda O'Keefe, who was found strangled in 1973, a case that has long shaken the seaside community of Newport Beach, Calif., Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. (Dougal Brownlie/The Gazette via AP)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado man arrested after DNA tied him to the 1973 killing of an 11-year-old California girl has yet to decide if he will fight extradition.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports 72-year-old James Neal, of Monument, nodded at his crying relatives as he was led into court for a brief appearance Thursday. A judge scheduled a Feb. 28 hearing, where Neal could say if he will fight extradition to California to face a murder charge.

Neal was arrested in Colorado Springs on Tuesday for investigation of killing 11-year-old Linda O’Keefe in Newport Beach, California.

Linda disappeared July 6, 1973. She was seen walking home from summer school, and her body was found the next day.

Authorities say Neal lived in Southern California in the 1970s.