Nov 24 1974 Judy Rivera: San Mateo
4--Son Motto THE TIMES Monday, NÂ»Â». 2*. 1W Now a New Mystery Giri Found, Couple Cleared ' SAN BERNARDINO (API -Â· In 1965 a 3-year-old girl was found abandoned in a 'San Francisco gasoline station. station. ' Eight months ago. A San Â·Bernardino woman and her 'divorced husband were convicted convicted of m u r d e r i n g their Jt-year-old daughter in 1965. Come C h r i s t m a s , a 13-year-old girl will visit the convicted couple -- with all three, as well as the girl's adoptive mother, defense a t t o r n e y s and a d i s t r i c t attorney's investigator -convinced -convinced that the abandoned abandoned girl is the child who supposedly was murdered. Mrs. Merla Walpole. 35, and her former husband. Antonio Rivera, 38. were brought to trial earlier this year after the bones of a child v.'ere found in a crude grave about 10 miles from where the couple lived in 1965. Throughout their trial. Rovera and Mrs. Walpole insisted that they had abandoned abandoned their daughter Judy in a San Francisco gas station because she was seriously ill. they were desperately poor, and they believed her only chance for survival was to be found and cared for by someone else. Defense exhibits at, the trial included a San Francisco Francisco Chronicle newspaper story about the 3-year-old found in San Francisco in January 1965. the time when Rivera and Mrs. Walpole testified they had abandoned Judy. Reagan Jokes About Ban on His Old Films But the jury convicted, a f t e r w h i c h ' t r i a l J u d g e Thomas M. Haldorsen set aside the verdict and ordered a new trial. More important to the u l t i m a t e outcome. Judge Haldorsen ordered further investigation inlo the case. Timothy Martin, an investigator investigator for the San Bernard Bernard i n o d i s t r i c t a t t o r n e y ' s office, took up the search for the San Francisco foundling, g i v e n t h e n a m e ' ' J u d y Gasse" because of the gasoline gasoline station angle. M a r t i n f o u n d h e r last month, living near San Francisco Francisco with the woman who adopted her after the child had spent two years in San F r a n c i s c o h o s p i t a l s a n d institutions. No one connected with the case would give the name or o u d r o s s o f t h e a d o p t i v e mother. But Defense Attorneys Attorneys Larry Freeman and David Call said blood tests and certain physical similarities similarities made it appear likely that "Judy Gasse" was the supposedly-murdered Judy Rivera. Subsequently the attorneys arranged a meeting between Judy, her adoptive mother. Rivera and Mrs. Walpole. Reported Freeman: "Not only are Rivera and Mrs. Walpole convinced that, Judy Gasse is (heir daughter, so are the girl and her adoptive mother." Freeman said the girl and the adoptive mother will visit the Rivera and Walpole homes at Christmas time. Although all charges have been dismissed against Rivera Rivera and Mrs. Walpole, there still .exists the mystery of the other child whose hones were found in t h a t grave in 1973. "Judy's real mother and father are now exonerated -hut -hut somebody buried t h other little girl," said Freeman. Freeman. "Somewhere someone has been watching this case and now that some must f e e l i n g f e a r . '