A college student was murdered in Nebraska 40 years ago, and leads went cold. Her murderer was never found. Until this week, when police announced they arrested the suspected killer.
Bud Christensen was arrested on May 6 in Omaha, Nebraska, on suspicion of murdering Firozeh Dehghanpour, whose body was found in August 1983.
Dehghanpour’s body was found under a bridge by a couple who were fishing, according to WOWT. She was discovered nude, beaten and with a slashed throat.
The victim was surrounded by clothing like her bra, underwear, blouse, shoes and glasses. Notebooks, computer papers, a beer can, pens, and a work-style left-handed glove were found at the scene.
Dehghanpour’s blood was Type O, and blood evidence at the scene was also type O. However, nine items tested positive for Type A human blood.
The affidavit report obtained by KCRG says that computer papers from the scene helped detectives find four latent prints.
They were compared to Dehghanpour and the University of Nebraska-Omaha computer consultant who printed them. Two of them matched to neither of the two.
To pursue the case, authorities had to get in touch with the victim’s family in Tehran, Iran, and across Europe, Jeff Theulen, chief deputy with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, said in a news conference streamed by local media.
In 1983, investigators worked the case for months, but it went cold, according to police. However, evidence was stored and preserved at the Sheriff’s Office in case new information ever came to light.
In November 2020, one of Dehghanpour’s friends contacted police asking them to take another look at a previous suspect. Investigators checked, but found that person had a solid alibi, according to KCRG.
While reviewing the case reports, investigators found evidence that could benefit from modern DNA analysis. They sent several samples to the laboratory for testing.
The affidavit obtained by KCRG says that the blood on the glove at the scene was compared to the national DNA database.
In March 2021, investigators were notified that the blood matched Christensen’s DNA. His DNA was in the system for previous sex offenses in Nebraska.
“The probability of finding this profile in a population of unrelated individuals, chosen at random, would be less than one out of 6.1 Octillion,” the affidavit says.
Christensen was contacted in late March while he was at an Omaha hospital, according to police. They served a court order to obtain a saliva and blood sample.
The DNA matched the nine items with Type A blood found at the scene, police stated.
Dehghanpour's family was informed of the arrest days before it was announced to the public.
“I talked to her brother for about an hour on [May 4], and he was shocked, he wasn’t able to quite process it yet,” said Investigator Sgt. James Doty during the press conference. “Being able to talk with him for an hour and learn more about her and who she was as a person is what makes all the hard work worth it.”
“Hopefully we are starting to define justice for her this morning,” Theulen said in the news conference.
Christensen appeared in front of a judge on May 6 and was formally charged with first-degree murder. He is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond.