Published On: Sat, Nov 4th, 2017

John Henry Van Uden arrested in 1994 cold case murder of mother, Frances Marjorie Van Uden

The Newport Beach Police Department arrested a man for the 1994 murder of his mother, ending a two decade cold case.

John Henry Van Uden III, 70, of Dana Point, was taken into custody without incident and charged with one felony count of murder with a special circumstances enhancement for financial gain.

Frances Marjorie Van Uden

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced the charges at a news conference, closing the case on the murder of Frances Marjorie Van Uden 23 years ago.

“This morning, we’re delivering justice to a son who’s charged with ending the life of the person who gave him life,” said Rackauckas.

On March 3, 1994, Van Uden his mom, who went by Marjorie, 76, a mother of three who enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, by striking her on her head with a blunt object.

The NBPD responded to welfare check call on Saturday, March 5, 1994, after concerned neighbors reported they had not seen the victim in two days.

Police found the victim, deceased, in her living room. There was significant trauma to the back of her skull.

“The back of her skull had been brutally shattered with a blunt object, our detectives immediately initiated a homicide investigation,” said Chief Jon Lewis from the Newport Beach Police Department.

Van Uden III, was identified as a possible suspect, but no arrest warrant was ever issued.

“You might think you’ve gotten away with it, but you really don’t know when you’re going to be on the receiving end of a set of handcuffs,” said Rackauckas.

Last week would have been Marjorie’s 100th birthday, according to Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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