Fingernail clippings taken from a murder victim in 1982 helped Phoenix police make an arrest in the killing last week, after tests confirmed that DNA found under the victim’s nails matched that of a convicted sex offender, the Arizona Republic reports.
The arrest was the latest in a growing file of Valley murder cases once considered unsolvable. Advances in forensic technology have allowed scientists to test miniscule bits of evidence and match the decades-old material with suspects.
Karen Casanova, 28, was found in a vacant field near 20th Street and University Drive at about 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 31, 1982. The body was partially clothed, and investigators determined she was sexually assaulted and smothered, according to court documents, but there were no witnesses and few clues.
Officers John Fink and Jeremy Puhac of the Brunswick (OH) Police Department were called to assist animal control officers who were unable to free a deer entangled in a soccer net.