In 1987, Shawn Melton was on the brink of conviction for the murder and kidnapping of 6-year-old Jeremy Stoner, based on seeming exclusive knowledge about the case. However, thanks to advancements in DNA technology, Melton has now been exonerated, with the real perpetrator apprehended.
Jeremy Stoner was abducted near his Vallejo residence and was tragically discovered dead four days later on Sherman Island, approximately 36 miles east of his home. The young boy was also a victim of sexual assault, as per the Solano County District Attorney’s Office. Although Melton was initially charged, the case was dismissed due to a hung jury.
Decades later, DNA advancements not only absolved Melton of the crime but pointed to Fred Cain III from Central Point, Oregon. Collaborating with Jackson County deputies, the district attorney’s office arrested Cain on Sept. 18. Cain is now awaiting transfer to Solano County to face multiple charges, including murder with special circumstance allegations of kidnapping and sodomy.
Since her election in 2014, District Attorney Krishna Abrams has placed emphasis on resolving cold cases, leading to the reinstatement of the Cold Case Unit dedicated to such unsolved homicides.