Charges filed in Michaela Garecht case

A suspect named David Misch has been charged with murder in the 1988 kidnapping of nine-year-old Michaela Joy Garecht. I’ve never heard of Misch before, but he’s apparently a serial killer: he has been imprisoned for one murder since 1989, and in 2018 he was charged with the 1986 double murder of Michelle Xavier and Jennifer Duey. He’s still awaiting trial in that case.

Misch is now 59, which means that in 1988 he was only about 17 years old. The fact that he was already committing such serious crimes before he was even out of his teens is pretty horrifying. 27 years old. I can’t math.

He left a partial palm print on Michaela’s scooter, which is what led to the charges. Apparently there’s DNA evidence too.

Obviously her Charley Project page will need updating.


  1. Man charged with murdering Michaela Garecht 3 decades after Hayward girl’s disappearance
  2. Michaela Garecht’s mother reads heartbreaking letter after man charged in daughter’s 1988 murder
  3. Suspect arrested in 1988 Michaela Garecht kidnapping case, Hayward police announce
  4. Suspect in kidnapping, murder of Michaela Garecht due in court today
  5. 1st court appearance for man accused of 1988 murder of Michaela Garecht
  6. DNA leads to arrest of possible serial killer in Michaela Garecht cold case

6 thoughts on “Charges filed in Michaela Garecht case

  1. Crunch December 22, 2020 / 5:17 pm

    He was 27 in 1988 not 17.

      • Crunch December 22, 2020 / 6:13 pm

        Haha no worries! This is one of my pet cases and one of the first I read about, so naturally I have so many questions. Hopefully we will know soon.

        – What evidence besides the palm print led LE to believe he was responsible?
        – Does Michaela’s friend recognize Misch as the kidnapper?
        – Is the sketch of Misch accurate? I would like to see a picture of what he looked like in 1988.
        – Since Michaela’s friend could not identify the make and model of the car the kidnapper drove and even wasn’t sure of the color, out of curiosity I would like to know.
        – Did Misch have an accomplice holding Michaela down in the backseat or did he just lock the door or the door didn’t have a handle like Ted Bundy?
        – How did she die and where?
        – Where are her remains?
        – Michaela’s disappearance has always been linked to the cases of Ilene Misheloff and Amber Swartz as well as other missing and murdered children and young women. Could Misch be responsible for those too?

  2. Patrick Kerrigan December 22, 2020 / 7:02 pm

    I assume we will get more details as the police get charges approved. In the last few years the FBI has improved their fingerprint system, to be able to run palm prints. There is a cold case kidnapping of a young girl from Chicago’s south side. The victim, after making her 1st communion was required to attend morning mass.

    Her mother normally drove her, but one morning her husband needed the car. The victim was found shot to death in a suburban forest preserve. Her coat was dumped along a road several miles away from where her body was found. The Chicago Police had a palm print supposedly on her purse. I wonder if they ever ran it.

    Hopefully the authorities will be able to determine what happened Michaela.

  3. Karen December 22, 2020 / 11:46 pm

    I have prayed so hard for someone to be found & charged in this case. Wow. I’m speechless.

  4. Alice December 23, 2020 / 6:26 am

    Don’t worry, I can’t do maths, either. But as far as I am aware, he did commit some crimes while he was in his teens.

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