When Cindy Borgeson’s sister, Linda O’Keefe, went missing in July 1973, she wasn’t too worried. Cindy felt that her younger sister would be back home soon. But hope turned to dismay when Linda’s body was found in a ditch the following day. CBS’ ’48 Hours: Linda’s Story’ chronicles Linda’s murder investigation and the decades-long effort it took to catch her killer. Cindy, who, after all those years, didn’t think the culprit would be found, was surprised when she heard the news of his arrest. So, if you’re curious about how Cindy dealt with Linda’s death, here’s what we know!
Who is Cindy Borgeson?
Cindy was about 18-years-old when Linda vanished as an 11-year-old after school. On July 6, 1973, Linda called her mother for a lift back home. Cindy remembered that afternoon, saying, “She didn’t have her bike, and she didn’t want to walk home that day. So she called my mom, and my mom and I were sitting there. She says, ‘Just walk home. I’m really busy. Just walk home.'” So Linda did, but she never made it back home. Cindy’s sister was raped, strangled, and dumped in a ditch. Cindy said that her mother carried that guilt all her life.
The investigation into Linda’s murder didn’t drum up many leads. Witnesses reported Linda talking to a man in a turquoise van, but there wasn’t much to go on beyond that. Cindy talked about how their father would chase down every van that matched the description in hopes of catching Linda’s killer. However, the case remained unsolved for decades. The only hope was the DNA profile developed from the evidence collected at the crime scene. That became the turning point in the case in 2019.
Using genealogy and tracing the family tree of the suspect, the police zeroed in on James Neal, whose DNA matched the profile from Linda’s crime scene. Cindy said that the authorities found his second cousin initially and then his grandparents. She expressed surprise when she learned of James’ arrest, saying, “I never really thought that they would actually ever find the individual responsible. After all this time, finding out there is a face and a name…just brings additional closure.” While James was arrested, he died in prison before standing trial.
Where is Cindy Borgeson Now?
After James’ arrest, Cindy also talked about forgiveness and faith and said, “I couldn’t carry that burden in my heart of hating an individual even though he committed this horrible crime. I hope that he has remorse.” She added that she prayed for James and his family. Cindy, who has since retired from her job at a university, seems to live with her family in California.
Now a mother and a grandmother, Cindy Borgeson said she truly understood what her parents dealt with after Linda’s death. They have since passed away, but Cindy believed that her parents and sister would have been happy that the killer was caught.
Read More: How Did Linda O’Keefe Die?