Two Retired Detectives Never Gave Up on a ’96 Dorian Case


KFSN-ABC (30); 1/20/20-Reporter Cory James; 2/27/20-Reporter Corin Hoggard


FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN, 1/20/20) — Retired Fresno Police Detectives Robert Schiotis and Vincent Zavala walked into retirement years ago, but they never walked away from a case that went unsolved for more than two decades.

Both of them volunteered their time to bring justice to Debbie Dorian. The young woman was found bound, gagged, raped and murdered in her apartment complex back in 1996.

“Bob and I always had leads to follow up on,” Zavala said. “It may not have been the best leads, but they were leads.”

They were leads that became fuel to track down the killer.

“We had evidence, we had the DNA, we kept working with it, so it wasn’t done,” Schiotis said. “We had to keep doing it.”

The big break was in last October when Visalia Police arrested Nickey Stane on a “John Doe” arrest warrant from 2009.

Authorities say technology used in the Golden State killer case linked Stane to the profile.

It was a connection made from a DNA sample collected at the scene, and District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp says that evidence points directly to the suspect.

“It’s Nickey Stane,” Smittcamp said. “I would bet my left leg it’s Nickey Stane.”

It’s a strong statement that comfort’s Debbie’s mother, who wants justice served for her daughter.

“You miss seeing her wedding, the holidays, you miss what would she look like, you know,” says Sara Loven. “Now, I will see justice for Deb before I die, and one more evil person will not be able to hurt others.”

This is now possible because of these two men who did not stop serving, even after the uniform and badge came off.


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