After 32 years, suspect is arrested in connection with death of Fontana man | News

A Fontana man was stabbed to death 32 years ago, and last month a suspect was sentenced in connection with the crime, according to the Fontana Police Department.

The incident occurred on March 25, 1990, when victim John Carl Burkhardt, 71, was found deceased in the living room of his home located at 8680 Mango Avenue. Burkhardt was stabbed multiple times and his home was ransacked. A close friend of the victim found him in his residence after he failed to show up for breakfast.

Investigators at the time followed up on and exhausted all leads and the case went cold.

Then in 2003, a witness came forward, saying she witnessed the murder and identified the suspect as Michael Joseph Vance (who is now 52 years old).

The witness said that Vance asked her to go with him to pick up his paycheck from the victim. An argument took place between the victim and suspect over money owed to the suspect. The suspect obtained a steak knife from the kitchen and stabbed the victim numerous times. After his death, the suspect and witness stole items from the residence before leaving.

During the initial investigation, multiple items of evidence, including fingerprints, were collected from inside the residence by evidence technicians. Through the years with technological advancements, the suspect’s fingerprints were found inside the residence and on the murder weapon, the Fontana P.D. said.

During an interview, the suspect denied knowing the victim, doing work for the victim, and being inside the residence.

In September of last year, this case was presented to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office and charges were filed against Vance for murder, voluntary manslaughter, and use of a dangerous or deadly weapon.

In April, Vance accepted a plea for voluntary manslaughter. Vance will serve his sentence in state prison concurrently with another sentence he is currently serving for an unrelated charge.

In a Facebook post on May 9, Fontana Police Detective Kathryn Clark and the Cold Case Division of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Homicide Division were praised for their work in solving this case.

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