Suspect named in 1979 Sunnyvale cold case slaying of teen security guard

After 44 years, authorities claim to have solved the killing of an 18-year-old security guard in Sunnyvale.

On October 16, 1979, officers with the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety responded to an assault at a business at 444 De Guigne Drive.

That is where officers found Estella Elena Mena, in the lobby suffering from multiple stab wounds. Mena had been working as a security guard.

She was taken to a local hospital where she died.

For years, the suspect's identity had been unknown, and there were no leads in the case.

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However, with the advancement of forensic science and DNA testing, investigators announced today that they were able to identify the suspect as Samuel Silva. Silva had been living in Colorado before he died in 2008. He was around 47 years old when he died.

Authorities said Silva was a former Sunnyvale resident with a lengthy criminal history which included sexual assault and violent crime.

The 1979 homicide case is now closed.