She Was Murdered More Than 30 Years Ago. Thanks to DNA, Police Believe They Now Have The Killer.

Source: Mesa Police Department; MEGA

Apr. 28 2022, Published 9:05 a.m. ET

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A woman was murdered more than 30 years ago. Now, police believe the man who did it was often next door.

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A man who police believe murdered a woman more than three decades ago has been arrested, police announced April 26.

With advanced DNA technologies and other investigative techniques, police were able to identify Thomas D. Cox, 58, as a suspect in the murder of 22-year-old Susan Amy Morse in October 1989, according to KTAR News.

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Cox is also suspected of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman in November 1990, the Mesa Police Department stated.

Cox's charges include one count of first-degree murder, nine counts of sexual assault, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of burglary, one count of aggravated assault and one count of sexual abuse, KTAR reports.

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Police found Morse dead in her apartment near Southern Avenue and Country Club Drive in 1989, when it was ruled she died of asphyxiation following a sexual assault. The second crime took place in the same apartment complex, where Cox allegedly broke into the woman's home, sexually assaulted her and stole cash and a VCR, KTAR reports.

DNA samples from both crimes matched, but police didn't have a suspect until this week.

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Mesa police conducted a follow-up investigation, and a family line was found using DNA that led to Cox being a suspect. A fingerprint from a misdemeanor case in which Cox was arrested matched that of the older crimes, according to KTAR.

Cox, whose mother lived next to Morse, had not previously been identified as a lead in either of the decades-old cases.

Source: Mesa Police Department; MEGA

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