EXCLUSIVE: Suspected child killer in 1987 Vallejo cold case arrested. 'I hope he rots in Hell'

ByJ.R. Stone and Leslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
EXCLUSIVE: Suspected child killer in 1987 Vallejo cold case arrested
Fred Cain III, suspected of killing 6-year-old Jeremy Stoner in Vallejo back in 1987, is now in jail after being arrested in Oregon.

VALLEJO, Calif (KGO) -- A man suspected of killing a 6-year-old boy in Vallejo back in 1987 is now in jail.

We've learned that Vallejo police talked to the man more than 30 years ago but didn't take it any further.

It was only after Solano County investigators recently linked that man by a DNA match that they made the arrest.

Sixty-nine-year-old Fred Cain III faces murder, kidnapping, and sodomy charges in the Vallejo disappearance and death of 6-year-old Jeremy Stoner in 1987

Sixty-nine-year-old Fred Cain III faces murder, kidnapping, and sodomy charges in the Vallejo disappearance and death of 6-year-old Jeremy Stoner in 1987. Prosecutors say Cain is now being linked to the case by DNA evidence.

According to the Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams, Cain knew the 6-year-old boy and was even interviewed by investigators as a possible suspect back in 1987.

"I hope he rots in Hell, he got what he deserves," said Cris Delaney who is Cain's niece. She isn't shy about her feelings towards her uncle. She says she had an extremely rough childhood because of Cain.

Records show he previously did time for sodomy, rape-by-threat, and burglary.

"If I found out he died and I was able to show up and see him I'd literally, I would not mourn, I'd spit in the man's face if I could go face-to-face with him absolutely," said Delaney.

RELATED: New arrest in decades-old murder of 6-year-old boy from Vallejo

Solano County's district attorney announced a new suspect in the 1987 murder of six-year-old Jeremy Stoner.

Stoner was abducted near his family's Vallejo home. His body was found on Sherman Island, near Antioch, days later. For years Vallejo police had said that Shawn Melton, was to blame. Two juries disagreed though, and a judge eventually dismissed the case.

"This whole thing about Shawn having special knowledge, I asked that very thing to one of the detectives at the preliminary hearing, what is this special knowledge my client has? And he really couldn't answer," said Peter Foor who represented Melton as a public defender before becoming a judge.

He admits that his client was odd, saying that Melton thought he was helping police with his theories on what could have happened to the boy, but was only hurting himself by talking about those.

"I guess what I'm saying is when Shawn walked through the door their investigation completely shut down. They actually talked to Cain once, during this investigation and they were going to follow up on it, but they didn't cause they were convinced. They were the ones telling the press they were 100 percent convinced that he was the killer," said Foor.

Solano County district attorney credits detectives within her Cold Case Unit for linking Cain to the case by a DNA match.

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"We are exonerating him (Melton) here today and the importance of DNA in exonerating him and actually leading to the suspect that's responsible, that our office believes is responsible for the brutal murder of Jeremy Stoner," said Abrams.

"I hope this can help the Stoner family who have gone 36 years without any resolution to this," said Foor.

"My reaction was, felt horrible for this child but thankful that he's gonna get caught and hopefully put away for a long time," said Delaney referring to Cain.

"Can't bring Jeremy back. It's absolutely horrible what the family has gone through for the last 37 years. Hopefully this will bring a slight bit of comfort," said Solano County Sheriff's Office investigator Kevin Coelho.

ABC7 News did reach out to Stoner's family members but were unable to touch base with them.

Cain will be transported from Oregon to Solano County and he is expected to be arraigned in court by the end of the week.

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