An elderly Pennsylvania woman was charged with week for the decades-old cold case murder of her husband.

Judith Ann Jarvis, 76, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with one count of murder for allegedly shooting her husband Carl Jarvis dead in August 1987, WHTM reported

She was finally linked to the murder after investigators matched her husband’s DNA with evidence taken from the scene, the report said.

Officials said Judith Jarvis had called the police to report that her husband was throwing and breaking things during a domestic dispute at her home in Perry County.

When police arrived at the house, Judith Jarvis met the officers outside and told them she had not gone back in the house since she called them. The troopers unsuccessfully tried to make contact with her husband before they found him naked on the bedroom floor with two gunshot wounds to his head.

Judith Ann Jarvis, 76
Judith Ann Jarvis was arrested on Tuesday over 35 years after she allegedly killed her husband.
Pennsylvania State Police

A  .22 caliber revolver was found on the bed beside him, officials said. An autopsy confirmed that Carl Jarvis died after he was shot at close range with the gun, but determined he could not have shot himself. 

Police said that the couple were the only people in the home at the time.

Judith Jarvis was found to have blood on her pajamas, which she told police was her own blood from a goose bite. The pajamas were seized as evidence and stored.

In Oct. 2020 — more than three decades after Carl Jarvis’ death — investigators conducted a DNA analysis of the bloodied pajamas and matched it with a lock of her husband’s hair.

“This new technology led to our ability to bring charges in this 35-year-old case,” Perry County District Attorney Lauren Eichelberger told WHTM.

An expert reviewed the evidence and old reports and confirmed that Carl Jarvis’ death could not have been a suicide.

Judith Jarvis was interviewed by police in Jan. 2021, when she repeated claims that the blood was hers and not her dead husband’s. She said she did not shoot her husband — even in self defense — and denied knowing that her husband was dead when cops arrived at her home.

She remains in custody at the Cumberland County Prison after bail was denied. 

Eichelberger confirmed that the prosecution will be requesting the death penalty in the case.


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