Former Santa Barbara man charged in 2 cold cases

October 26, 2015
Kenneth Rasmuson

Kenneth Rasmuson

By KAREN VELIE

A twice convicted violent predator from Santa Barbara is facing capital murder charges in the 1981 and 1986 murders of two 6-year-old boys, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials announced Friday.

Earlier this year, Kenneth Rasmuson, 53, was extradited from Idaho to California to face charges for the murder of 6-year-old Jeffrey David Vargo. DNA testing requested by a detective tied Rasmuson to the 1981 murder.

On July 2, 1981, the first grader disappeared while riding his bike in Anaheim Hills. The next day, construction workers found Vargo’s body behind a pile of sand. He had been strangled.

On Friday, prosecutors said that DNA evidence also ties Rasmuson to the 1986 murder of 6-year-old Miguel Antero.

On April 8, 1986, Antero was reported missing. He was last seen outside his Agoura Hills home. Deputies later found Antero’s body in a nearby creek. The boy had been sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled.

The courts have convicted Rasmuson twice before for violent sexual assaults against children.

Jeffrey Vargo

Jeffrey Vargo

In 1981, when Rasmuson was a 19-year-old working at a Santa Barbara Domino’s Pizza Parlor, he lured an 11-year-old boy to a gully where he attacked and raped the boy. He then served several years in prison before being sent to Atascadero State Hospital.

In 1985, hospital staff dubbed Rasmuson a “star patient” and determined he was not likely to offend again and he was released.

Two years later, Rasmuson snatched a 3-year-old from a Los Angeles sidewalk and raped the boy. A passing motorist found the child wandering naked in the Augora foothills.

In 1985, a judge sentenced Rasmuson to 17 years in prison. After serving his sentence, Rasmuson was transferred back to Atascadero State Hospital where he spent an additional three years in custody.

In 2007, after Rasmuson agreed to take Lupron to reduce his sex drive, he became the first “sexually violent predator” to be released to live in Santa Barbara County. In 2010, he moved to Idaho to live with his parents.

On Oct. 20, Rasmuson was charged for the capital murder of Antero.

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20 Comments

  1. kaylett says:

    I do not believe that rehabilitation is possible for sexual predators. And this is just another example.

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  2. demiseofslo says:

    Enough with inhumane punishments. Send this guy to the electric chair inside the gas chamber with a lethal injection. People like this deserve to die and we all know it. No more compassion, no more incarceration, just kill him!!!!

    (39) 41 Total Votes - 40 up - 1 down

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