San Pablo man charged with Tilden Park murder after more than 2 decades

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The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office filed double murder charges against a 51-year-old San Pablo man who allegedly sexually assaulted and killed two women more than two decades ago.

William “Wild Bill” Huff faces two counts of murder for the 1987 killing of Deanna Butterfield, a 21-year-old found dead in Tilden Park, and the 1993 slaying of Mueylin Saechao, a Laotian woman in her mid-50s who was found dead in her boyfriend’s backyard.

Huff’s charges come with two special-circumstances allegations for murder in the course of sexual assault, according to a Tuesday press release from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

Authorities said recent DNA testing linked Huff to biological evidence recovered from both victims’ bodies.

Butterfield’s half-naked body was found in Tilden Park on Dec. 5, 1987. Authorities determined that she had been sexually assaulted and was suffocated to death. Saechao was also found half naked and had been sexually assaulted and was strangled to death with a sock. Her body was found in her boyfriend’s backyard June 11, 1993.

Both cases were reopened as part of a collaborative effort between the district attorney’s newly formed cold case unit and investigators from the East Bay Regional Parks District and San Pablo police departments, according to the press release. The cold case unit assists in the investigation of older homicide and sexual assault cases by matching crime scene DNA samples to suspects whose DNA is stored in state and national data banks.

Authorities are continuing to investigate Huff to determine if he is tied to additional cases. In addition to the Bay Area, Huff has been linked to the California cities of Colusa, Chico, Redding, Oroville and Santa Cruz.

Amy Jiang is the lead crime reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ajiang_dc.