Prisoner held on drug charges suspected of 1986 murder case

SAN DIEGO –

A 52-year-old man already jailed on unrelated drug charges was re-arrested Monday on suspicion of fatally stabbing an acquaintance whose body turned up in an East County field nearly 31 years ago.

Stacy Rafel Littleton of San Diego was re-booked on a murder charge this morning, shortly after being arrested in La Mesa for alleged controlled substance offenses, according to sheriff’s officials.

Littleton is suspected of murdering 20-year-old San Diego resident Cyrus Jefferson, who was found dead in an empty lot in the 2500 block of 69th Street in Lemon Grove on Oct. 11, 1986, homicide Lt. Kenneth Nelson said.

Investigators determined that Littleton and Jefferson had been together that day, driving around in the victim’s car, according to Nelson. Authorities later tracked down the vehicle in the East County, he said.

Detectives soon arrested Littleton on suspicion of killing Jefferson, but the county District Attorney’s Office ultimately declined to file charges against him, citing insufficient evidence.

Recently, sheriff’s cold-case investigators reopened the case.

“With advancement in technology and DNA-testing techniques, evidence collected at the original crime scene was re-evaluated,” the lieutenant said. “A DNA profile belonging to Littleton was identified.”

Nelson did not specify the nature of that alleged evidence.

Authorities remain uncertain about the motive for the slaying, he said.

Littleton was being held at San Diego Central Jail on $1 million bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.