By Serene Branson

LOS ANGELES ( — Brenda Gordon recently received a phone call from the LAPD that she will never forget.

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Detective Mitzi Roberts said DNA evidence had linked Samuel Little, a 72-year-old career criminal, to her mother’s murder and the deaths of two other women in the 1980s.

“I was really, really excited, I was happy, I was disgusted. I thought they had given up, but I do thank them from the bottom of my heart,” Gordon said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

In 1987, Gordon’s 41-year-old mother, Carol Alford, was strangled to death and dumped in an alley off East 27th Street, south of Downtown L.A.

“I just remember it. I was asleep, I was pregnant, eight months pregnant, then there was a knock on the door and boom, ‘We’ve come to see you about your mother,’” Gordon said.

Evidence also connected Little to the murders of 46-year-old Guadalupe Apodaca and 35-year-old Audrey Nelson, both killed in 1989.

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Roberts and the rest of her team reopened the case last year. They’re reviewing unsolved crimes to see if Little is connected to any other sexually-motivated strangulations.

“That will be the hard part and the motivating part, to get out, dig through paperwork and evidence, try to link up more cases to him. I definitely think he’s responsible for more than the three we know of,” Roberts said.

During the ’80s, police say several serial killers, including the ‘Grim Sleeper,’ were targeting women in the same area. In July 2010, authorities arrested Lonnie David Franklin Jr. in connection with the Grim Sleeper cases and charged him with 10 counts of murder.

Gordon suspected her mother may have been one of the Grim Sleeper’s many victims.

“It’s closure for me, if for nobody else then for me, because I knew the good Lord would bring it through eventually,” she said.

“I think about my mother all the time, I really do,” Gordon said.

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Serene Branson