Santa Maria Police Detectives Arrest Suspect in 1988 Homicide Case

Santa Maria Police Dept (Edhat)

Case #: 2019-0016346
On September 18, 1988, the Santa Maria Police Department (SMPD) responded to and investigated the murder of a 30-year-old female and Santa Maria resident Ofelia Sandoval. This crime occurred at the Town Center Motel in the 200 block of N. Broadway.

In 1988, the SMPD Detective Bureau responded to this incident and took over the investigation. This investigation eventually grew cold but remained open. Over the last several years detectives have continued to diligently work on this case that subsequently led to an arrest warrant for murder being issued for 57-year-old Gainesville, GA resident Aloysius Winthrop James. James was a Santa Maria, CA resident when the crime occurred.

Aloysius Winthrop James (Photo: Santa Maria Police)

On Tuesday, April 16, 2024, the SMPD Detective Bureau, with assistance from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, Gainesville Police Department, Hall County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, and the FBI Task Force – Gainesville, conducted a warrant service operation at James’ residence in Gainesville, GA where he was arrested on his warrant.

James was booked into the Hall County Jail in Georgia for murder and is being held without bail. SMPD Detectives will be working on the extradition process with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office in order to bring James back to Santa Barbara County.

Detectives believe there may be other unreported crimes and additional victims related to James involving threats, sexual assault, domestic abuse and other crimes. The Santa Maria Police Department understands there may be victims who are hesitant to come forward about reporting as the subject matter could be sensitive. Consequently, advocates will be available to assist throughout the process for those that may come forward.

If you have any additional information regarding James’ involvement in this or any other violent or sexual crimes, please contact Santa Maria Police Department Detective Nate Craven at (805) 928-3781 ext. 1610 or .


Written by SantaMariaPolice

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