Eve was on her way home to Bay Shore in New York after quitting her office job in Manhattan when she was kidnapped, raped and strangled
A DNA breakthrough has led to the identification of the man who abducted, raped and strangled a 20-year-old woman on her way home from work in 1980.
Eve Wilkowitz’s body was found 42 years ago near her Long Island home.
She had been on her way home to Bay Shore, New York, after quitting her job as a secretary in Manhattan.
Suffolk County police and prosecutors announced on Wednesday that the killer was a man who died of cancer in 1991. ABC News reports.
Herbert Rice, who was 29 at the time of the horrific crime, lived near where Wilkowitz’s body was found – three days after she failed to return home.
Investigators touted advances in DNA technology as central to their breakthrough.
“We have solved the 42-year-old murder of Eve Wilkowitz,” said Suffolk District Attorney Raymond Tierney, speaking at a news conference.
“This was a study of persistence, of a determination to work the case no matter what.”
Genetic genealogy has been used by investigators to identify Rice, along with a recent spate of cold cases across the country.
The technology allowed police and the FBI to transfer the DNA left on Wilkowitz’s body to consumer DNA databases that include countless individuals outside of the criminal justice system.
A match was made by a relative of Reis, whose body had been exhumed. Investigators compared DNA from his remains to samples obtained from the first rape kit and identified him as the suspect.
Wilkowitz’ sister Irene recalled the moment detectives knocked on her door and broke the news to her more than four decades after her death.
“She could never fulfill her dreams,” said Irene Wilkowitz about her sister.
Rice had three minor felony convictions against his name, all of which were ineligible for a DNA sample to be taken at the time.
Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said this type of investigation was “never easy”.
“But the tireless work and partnership helped us bring the Wilkowitz family to closure,” he said.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/dna-breakthrough-identifies-killer-woman-26598431 DNA breakthrough identifies killer of 20-year-old woman raped and strangled 42 years ago