Kidnapper of 8-year-old girl found guilty

Kevin Lin

Daily Post Staff Writer

A man who dodged police for over 20 years after kidnapping an 8-year-old girl while she was walking home from school in Hillsborough was convicted by a jury yesterday, a prosecutor said.

On Dec. 11, 1995, as Kristine Chiu was walking home from school, three men pulled her into a van. One of those men, Kevin Lin, 69, evaded police until December 2017. Lin was caught because he had applied for a passport and the State Department matched his picture to a 1995 wanted photo from the kidnapping. The State Department then contacted Hillsborough police.

After about five hours of deliberations, a jury yesterday found Lin guilty of kidnapping for ransom, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Al Serrato.

“They say that justice deferred is justice denied, but that’s not so in this case,” Serrato said.

Lin will be sentenced on August 23, he will likely face seven years to life in prison. That means Lin will have to serve seven years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Chiu was targeted because she was the daughter of a Taiwanese businessman, according to a Palo Alto Daily News report from the time. Chiu was released unharmed after 12 hours of captivity. Her kidnappers originally demanded an $800,000 ransom, but gave up on their plan after learning her parents were in Taiwan. Chiu was found unharmed inside a hotel near the San Francisco International Airport.

One of Lin’s co-conspirators, John Balocca was sentenced to seven years to life in prison in 1997. He was paroled in 2015. Accomplice Brian Shieh remains at large.