By CBSLA Staff

ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — After more than 41 years, a New Mexico man has been arrested and charged in the murder of a 79-year-old Anaheim woman, police said Friday.

(credit: Anaheim Police Department)

Andre William Lepere, 64, was arrested at his Alamogordo, N.M., home by Anaheim police homicide detectives, New Mexico state police, and Otero County authorities on Thursday.

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Lepere has been charged in the murder of Viola Hagenkord, who was found in her apartment in the 2500 block of West Winston Road by a neighbor on Feb. 18, 1980. Police say Hagenkord was well known in her apartment complex, and her neighbor had gone to check on her after becoming concerned that they hadn’t seen her for two days.

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(credit: Anaheim Police Department)

Hagenkord was found dead in her apartment, and investigators determined she had been sexually assaulted. Evidence was collected at the scene, and even after other homicide detectives revisited the case through the years, no suspects were identified until September of 2020. That’s when cold case detectives revisited the case again, and with the help of the Orange County Crime Lab and the FBI’s Orange County Violent Crime Task Force, Lepere was identified as the suspect.

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Lepere, who has been charged with special circumstances murder, is being held at Otero County Sheriff’s Detention Center without bail pending extradition proceedings.