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Two Men Charged In Rape And Murder Of A Young Mother 37 Years Ago

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Two men have been charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of a young gas station attendant 37 years ago.Terry Moses, 59, and Neal Antoine Matthews, 58, were charged Tuesday with the murder of a young Palmdale woman in 1978, the L.A. Times reports.

On December 3, 1978, 20-year-old Leslie Long was working at a Chevron gas station in Palmdale. She had eloped at age 15 with her high school sweetheart and had three young children—ages 4, 3 and 1—at home. The job was to help afford the new apartment the family had just rented.

She was working the late shift and should have closed the station, then returned home. However, she never did. A customer found the station bizarrely deserted with the safe open. Investigators found Long’s car parked behind the station and her belongings still inside. Three days later, her body was found in Acton near the 14 Freeway and Soledad Canyon Road, dumped at the bottom of hill. Long had been raped, then shot to death.

Initial suspects included a pair of inmates who had escaped shortly before Long’s kidnapping, but they couldn’t be linked to her murder. In 2011, new DNA evidence proved that they were not her assailants. DNA evidence has, however, now linked Moses and Matthews to her death, investigators say. Authorities also say that Moses and Matthews were both active gang members at the time of the incident.

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Matthews was arrested on May 21 at his house in Lancaster, but Moses was already in jail at the Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad. He's serving 25 to life on multiple convictions, including robbery, burglary and assault. Moses has also been charged with the 1976 murders of Carlton Goodwin and Michael Fuqua, and the attempted murder of Kenney Guevara in 1996, according to CBS LA.