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Police in Arizona say that "new forensic technology" led to the arrest of a 67-year-old man in a more than three-decade-old cold case where a young woman was found raped and beaten to death in an abandoned Phoenix building.
David Kizziar was 31 years old when the body of 22-year-old Aimee See was discovered in an abandoned mortuary in Phoenix on Feb. 17, 1984. Police had arrived at the scene after an anonymous caller reported seeing smoke and people inside the building, according to court documents acquired by local news site AZFamily. When officers entered the building, however, all they found was a trail of blood leading from the front to the back of the building.
It was there that police found See lying face-up and naked on top of a sleeping bag, her head bashed in and a telephone cord wrapped around her neck, according to the court documents. She had been sexually assaulted and had likely been dead for several days, it was concluded.
Police collected DNA evidence, but it didn't match anything on file, according to an Associated Press report. For nearly three decades, the case remained cold.
In 2012, investigators reviewing the 28-year-old cold case requested further forensic processing, the Arizona Republic reported. Then, in October of this year, police developed a new lead with Kizziar.
Kizziar had lived within a mile of the site where See’s body was found, the AP reports. According to court documents, he told investigators on Oct. 15 that he knew where the building was and would often climb through its windows and up its stairwells. He also said he went to the same YMCA and church that See attended.
Police collected Kizziar’s DNA, and when it matched what was collected at the crime scene he was arrested. On Saturday he was charged with rape and murder, AZFamily reports. He is currently being held on a $1 million bond.
Despite the breakthrough, police have been tight-lipped about exactly how they identified Kizziar as a suspect. Sgt. Troy Hillman said they relied on "new forensic technology" that will likely be challenged in court, but provided no further details, AZFamily reports.
Hillman said that he sees these recent developments as a message of hope and a warning.
“We send a message to the family and to society that we’re not giving up, we won’t give up, we refuse to give up. We also send a message to the bad guy, ‘Hey, you’d better look over your shoulder,’” Hillman told AZFamily.
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