USA: Cigarette butts convicted perpetrators: Murder of teacher solved after 52 years

Rita C.

USA: Cigarette butts convicted perpetrators: Murder of teacher solved after 52 years

Rita C. of Vermont, USA, was just 24 years old when her roommates found her dead in her apartment on July 19, 1971. For a long time, the police searched in vain for the perpetrator. The case became a cold case. Until now.

As the Burlington Police Department explained at a press conference on Tuesday, the case has finally been solved. A combination of genetic genealogy, DNA testing and interviewing the alleged perpetrator's former wife allowed authorities to identify him as a suspect, police chief Jon Murad said.

At that time he lived only two floors above the teacher in the same house. However, since he and his wife had testified at the time that they were both at home on the night of the crime and had not heard or seen anything, he was considered not to be suspicious. Investigators found a cigarette butt on the victim and archived it.

When a DNA match was performed using newer technology, officials found a male profile, but a search of the country's law enforcement registry for genetic material turned up no matches.

Only a genealogical DNA test, with which a family relationship can be determined, brought the officers to the track of the man. They then questioned the then wife again, who now admitted that there had been an argument that night and that her husband had left the house as a result. He only returned after she had already gone to sleep. At his request, she should lie to the police and tell them that they were both at home all night.

However, the man can no longer be held accountable today. After the young woman's murder, he went to a monastery in Thailand and became a Buddhist monk. He later returned to the United States and resided in San Francisco, where he died of a drug overdose in 1986.

A brother of the victim told reporters in attendance, "I don't think about the guy who did this as much as I think about Rita and my parents and what they went through." And he added: "I pray to my parents and I pray to Rita."

Watch the video: After more than 30 years, investigators in Indiana have cracked a "cold case". DNA evidence helped determine the identity of the so-called "I-65 killer." The man had murdered three women. He is also accused of sexual assault.

Sources: NBC News, Facebook