Authorities charge Visalia man Nickey Stane in 1996 Debbie Dorian murder

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Sara Loven says it was a life taken too soon, "You miss seeing her wedding, the holidays, and you miss what would she look like."

Loven is speaking of her daughter, Debbie Dorian, "She was a feisty, wonderful person."

On Wednesday, Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp announced murder charges in the brutal killing of Dorian, who was a Fresno State student. Loven expressed her gratitude to the detectives who spent more than two decades trying to solve Dorian's murder.

"It's easy to give up, especially after time goes by," Loven said. "We know going through the trial is not going to be easy, but thank goodness."

"What you see behind me today is the culmination of 23 years of law enforcement collaboration and cooperation," says Smittcamp.

Investigators say in 1996, Dorian was found bound, gagged, raped and murdered in her apartment complex.

A DNA sample was collected at the scene, then uploaded to a database that matched South Valley sexual assault crimes spanning from the 1990s to the 2000s.

In October of 2019, Visalia Police arrested Nickey Stane on a "John Doe" arrest warrant from 2009.

Smittcamp announced New DNA technology, the same used in the Golden State killer case, linked Stane to the profile.

"As a mother, I cannot fathom the pain this family has endured," Smittcamp said.

Smittcamp filed murder charges Wednesday in the brutal killing of Dorian, and which could bring hope to families of cold case victims everywhere.

They were sentiments that Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward echoed.

"If you or someone you know have been the victim of a violent crime, know this: you are not forgotten," Ward said. "Do not give up hope. Do not give up if your case has not yet been solved."

Ward waived jurisdiction, meaning the South Valley sexual assault cases will be consolidated with the Dorian case in Fresno. That means one jury will hear all 12 charges filed against Nickey Stane.
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