Kevin Ford was charged with the murder of a Southern California woman.
(Robeson County Sheriff’s Office)
A single fingerprint helped detectives make an arrest Tuesday in 1987 cold case murder of an elderly Southern California woman.
Kevin Thomas Ford, 62, St. Pauls, N. C., was arrested in connection with the murder of Grace Hayden, according to The Robesonian. Hayden, who was 79 at the time of her killing, in her Normal size, Calif. home smothered and possibly raped on May 20, 1987.
There are no initial leads in the case, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The researchers said at the time of Hayden’s murder was the evidence of her house was robbed, but there were no signs of burglary. Neighbors told the paper at the time that Hayden left her door ajar regularly and there were no irregular signs before she was found brutally murdered.
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The case went cold until investigators in San Diego took a fingerprint found on Hayden’s stove and ran it through the national database, Robeson County, N. C. District Attorney’s Office investigator Erich Hackney told The Robesonian. The fingerprint matching Ford.
Ford’s fingerprint was taken in 2015 after he claimed to have been threatened with a North Carolina business. The taking of a fingerprint in such a case, it is not something that the government usually do, Hackney told the Robesonian.
“Vice [John] Blount decided to fingerprint Ford, something rarely done on a fee of this nature,” Erich Hackney said. “It was this set of fingerprints, which were taken by Blount that corresponds to the imprint left by Ford at the crime scene.”
Ford was charged with murder in the Hayden case, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office told the Union-Tribune. Ford was arrested at his home without incident.
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Prior to the arrest, authorities said Ford had lived a “low-key” lifestyle. Most of the legal problems he turned to traffic violations.
“This man had flown under the radar all these years by staying out of trouble,” Hackney said. “I guess you really never know who you might be living next to.”
Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.