A 77-year-old Nevada man was taken into custody Wednesday after authorities in Hawaii accused him of fatally stabbing a woman in her Honolulu apartment five decades ago, court and prison records show.
Tudor Chirila Jr. was charged with second-degree murder on January 7, 1972, the murder of Nancy Anderson, 19, according to an arrest warrant issued Monday by a Honolulu district court judge.
Chirila, of Reno, was in custody at the Washoe County detention facility after surviving a suicide attempt on Sept. 8, two days after authorities collected a TBEN sample from him to compare with genetic material from the crime scene, according to the crime scene. prison and court records.
Authorities identified Chirila, a former graduate assistant at the University of Hawaii, after researchers tracked dead ends and interviewed interested people for years.
Among them were two knife sellers who visited Anderson’s apartment the day she was found dead, according to a Honolulu detective’s affidavit attached to the arrest warrant.
Anderson was a McDonald’s employee who graduated from a Michigan high school two years before her death, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
Friends and colleagues interviewed by authorities after her death described her as happy and friendly.
Anderson’s roommate found her body on the afternoon of Jan. 7, minutes after she awoke from a nap, according to the affidavit. The roommate found Anderson on the floor, covered in blood.
A medical examiner later found that Anderson had 63 stab wounds, according to the affidavit.
Detectives interviewed the knife sellers, who stopped by Anderson’s apartment on January 7 after meeting her in Waikiki that day. After a sales pitch, Anderson and her roommate refused their wares, and the sellers left her a cake cutter as a gift, the affidavit says.
The sellers provided alibis and fingerprints that were matched with prints of the scene, according to the affidavit. Detectives confirmed the couple’s whereabouts ruled them out as potential suspects, the affidavit said.
Other men whose names were offered by tipsters or known to be friends with Anderson were also ruled out as possible suspects, according to the affidavit.
The case remained cold for decades and it remained unsolved, even after a detective gave the investigation a fresh look in the early 2000s using TBEN samples obtained from Anderson’s bedspread, a slipper and towels, including one found next to her body. was found, the affidavit says.
Last December, authorities received a tip that Chirila could be a suspect, according to the affidavit.
The document does not state where the tip came from. The Honolulu Police Department has previously said it will enlist the help of Parabon NanoLabs, a company that uses traditional genealogy research and TBEN analysis to help authorities track down cold cases.
In April, Chirila’s son, who lives in Newport Beach, California, offered a TBEN sample to authorities, according to the warrant. An analysis found that his TBEN was highly correlated with the genetic material found from the towel found next to Anderson.
Four months later, authorities obtained a TBEN sample from Tudor Chirila and found it matched the sample taken from the towel, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit does not identify a possible motive or provide details of how Chirila knew Anderson or gained access to her apartment. He was not among the potential suspects investigated in the 1970s or early 2000s.
A Honolulu Police Department spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Chirila’s son also did not respond to a request for comment. It was not clear whether Chirila has a lawyer speaking on his behalf.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com