Break in a 39-year-old cold case

Authorities say they may have cracked the case of the 1979 murder of an Iowa teenager by using new DNA technology. ABC News' Kendis Gibson reports.
2:09 | 12/20/18

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Transcript for Break in a 39-year-old cold case
Reader to a major break it up cold case that's nearly four decades old get back in 1979 Iowa teenager Michelle Martin co was found murdered outside a shopping mall. We'll now exactly 39 years after her death. Police believe they've cracked the case thanks to some controversial new DNA technology. A murder mystery may finally be solved overnight police in Cedar Rapids, Iowa announcing an arrest in the nineteen Sunday nine killing of Michel Martin co. The eighteen year old was brutally stabbed in a mall parking lot. But police said she was stabbed nineteen times. In the face in the chest. The murder baffling investigators for years wounds are marching goes hand showed she fought for her life but she was not sexually assaulted. And her killer left a 186. Dollars on touched. In 2006 cold case investigators were able to find DNA evidence taken from the scene. But did not match any profiles in the national database. And then a new hope for the family came just last year when investigators turned tow company using a new and highly controversial technology. They devolved sketches of a suspect using what's called predictive analytics. During an image of what the suspect could look like based on the DNA evidence found. That DNA and gave them the suspect's nationality and likely features including blue eyes and blonde here. After these catches were released to the public Temps started pouring in. It's totally worth it we've we've gotten. Probably a hunter's. 310. Leads since that time. Then a break in the case has police identified 64 year old Jerry burns questioning him at his job about an hour way in Manchester Iowa. They have yet to say exactly how they Naira downed attempts to track him down but they say they got a DNA sample from him and it matched DNA from the crime scene. Today's arrest. For the final that charges. Against Jerry Lynn burns. Well as a result of persistent. And determined investigative work of the Cedar Rapids police department. And the results. Of scientific. DNA analysis. Excellent fascinating burns who denies killing marching code is due in court today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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