Nearly 42 years after Sandra DiFelice’s murder, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has detained a man in connection with the incident.
According to a police statement released on Monday, Paul Nuttall, 64, was detained on suspicion of burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, sexual assault while using a deadly weapon, and “open murder” with the use of a deadly weapon.
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A murder suspect in Nevada is typically charged with “open murder,” which is a broad murder accusation that covers “Murder in the First Degree and all unavoidably included offences.” According to the Clark County website, these “would include Murder in the Second Degree and maybe Voluntary Manslaughter and Involuntary Manslaughter dependent upon the unique facts of the case.”
CNN has contacted Nuttall’s public defence, but has not received a response as of yet. On December 26, 1980, DiFelice was allegedly brutally raped and killed inside her home, according to authorities.
DiFelice’s daughter, who was three years old and living with her grandparents at the time of the incident, called the police department’s cold case detectives in February 2021 to inquire about the status of the investigation.
In collaboration with our DNA forensics lab, detectives were able to identify that there was more evidence that could be submitted for processing using cutting-edge DNA technology after reviewing the case. The suspect in Sandra DiFelice’s murder, Paul Nuttall, was identified during that processing of the evidence, according to DNA found under Sandra DiFelice’s fingernails, according to Lt. Jason Johansson.
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During the news conference, authorities revealed that Nuttall was initially identified as a person of interest during the early phases of the inquiry. Though it was discovered that Nuttall knew DiFelice’s roommate, which explained why his fingerprint was there, police announced during the news conference that they had discovered his fingerprint in DiFelice’s residence.
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