Colorado Springs police believe they have solved a 36-year-old cold case by linking a man serving time for a sexual assault to the 1976 murder of a hotel maid.
Authorities said a DNA analysis led to the arrest of Robert Baillie, 58, who is already in the state’s prison system serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for a sexual assault.
On Dec. 3, 1976, the body of Janet Conrad, a maid at the Antlers Plaza Hotel, was discovered in a linen room on the tenth floor. Police said the 34-year-old woman had been strangled or suffocated.
Over the years, authorities interviewed countless witnesses, however no suspects were developed.
A break in the case came in 2009 when the Colorado Springs Police Department received a grant from The National Institute of Justice under the “Solving Cold Cases With DNA” program. The money allowed authorities to re-examine Conrad’s murder and pinpoint biological evidence they may have missed.
The DNA evidence was then run through the Combined DNA Index System database, and was found to match Baillie.
“It feels amazing,” Lt. Adrian Vasquez of the Colorado Springs Police Department told ABC News affiliate KRDO-TV. “The guys are very ecstatic about this, being able to call the family up. You don’t really bring closure to a family in something like this. But just being able to give them that good news, and let them at least understand that somebody has been brought to justice.”
Baillie’s next parole hearing is in January 2014.
It was not yet known whether he had an attorney.