Man arrested for murder 31 years later

A 76-year-old German man suspected of the brutal rape and murder of an 86-year-old woman has been arrested on the basis of DNA evidence re-examined more than 31 years after the crime, police said Friday.

The woman was sexually assaulted and strangled in September 1977 not far from her home in the southern German town of Roth. Despite offering a substantial reward and investigating 2,000 potential suspects, police were unable to solve the grisly crime until the case was reopened in April 2008.

It emerged that the suspect’s DNA – which he had given in connection with another enquiry – matched traces found on the victim’s clothing. The man was taken into police custody on December 29.

“The 76-year-old from Roth is now being held in custody. He has refused to talk about the crime,” police said in a statement.