LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — For forty years, the stabbing death of Helen Sullivan remained unsolved.
In a statement released Sunday, the Long Beach Police Department said that the cold case homicide — their oldest to date — has been solved.
Police said Sullivan, then 58, had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death inside her home in the 6600 block of Olive Avenue. Her body was found on Jan. 21, 1972 by her husband.
Police said detectives arrived on scene where they gathered biological evidence and lifted partial fingerprints, all of which were preserved.
According to police, the biological evidence was recently re-analyzed thanks to funds provided by the National Institute of Justice.
Using the latest DNA testing methods, police turned up a match.
The accused, identified by police as Emanuel Miller, was 36 at the time of the murder. He had been paroled just before the crime. According to police, Miller died in 1990 at the age of 54.
“Investigators delivered the news to victim Sullivan’s family, and although they would not see Miller prosecuted for the crime, they were grateful to detectives for solving the 40-year old mystery of their loved one’s murder,” the statement said.