California: Santa Cruz County Sentinel, Wednesday, July 9, 1997

Local woman found slain near Fresno

By Robert Gammon
Sentinel staff writer

A 20-year-old woman who grew up in the San Lorenzo Valley was murdered near Fresno on the Fourth of July, authorities said Tuesday.

The body of Andrea "Annie" Born, who had lived in Brookdale and graduated from San Lorenzo Valley High, was discovered at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, said Madera County Undersheriff Tom Turk.

Born had been shot in the head, her body doused with fuel and then set ablaze in a remote field just north of Fresno, not far from Highway 99, Turk said.

The murder shocked San Lorenzo Valley residents.

"I just heard the news and I can’t believe it," said Kathie Kratochvil of Mountain Community Theater in Ben Lomond, where Born starred in two plays when she was younger.

"She was always really lively, joking and energetic, and she was quick to laugh, but she was the cement that held it all together," Kratochvil added.

Investigators believe that Born, who had been a student at Fresno State University, was murdered at an unknown location and then her corpse was taken to a spot about 10 miles north of her Fresno residence, where it was set on fire.

"Probably to obliterate identification," Turk said.

Born was last seen at 9:30 p.m. Friday at her apartment by a woman friend. Two hours later, California Highway Patrol officers, making their usual rounds, noticed something burning in an orchard in the area of Road 33 and Avenue 7 in southern Madera County.

The CHP officers soon realized it was a body, but the Madera County Coroner’s Office did not know it was Born.

Then on Saturday, the coroner put out an all-points bulletin about the unidentified body, Turk said. Later in the day, Fresno police received a report that Born was missing.

The coroner then ordered Born’s dental records from a Fresno dentist and made the positive identification Monday.

Turk said there are no suspects in the case.

A native of Georgia, Born moved to the San Lorenzo Valley in 1980 with her family, said Diane Dearinger of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ben Lomond.

Born attended Quail Hollow Elementary School in Ben Lomond and San Lorenzo Valley Junior High in Felton. She played Peter in "Peter Pan" at the community theater in the summer of 1988, and in 1990, she also played the lead role in "Once Upon a Mattress," said Kratochvil, who directed the performance.

After graduating from San Lorenzo Valley High School, Born entered Fresno State University in the fall of 1994.

"She was a strikingly beautiful young woman. Not long ago, she told her mother she wished she could be Peter Pan and stay young forever," Dearinger said.

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