A man was busted for a murder he allegedly committed four decades ago after Las Vegas police connected him to the grisly crime through DNA evidence.
Paul Nuttall, 64, was arrested for the 1980 murder of 25-year-old Sandra DiFelice after officials linked him to the crime using new DNA technology, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced Monday.
Police believe Nuttall, who was 21 at the time of the attack, sexually assaulted DiFelice with a deadly weapon before killing her with the weapon and burglarizing her home.
DiFelice, a mother of one toddler, was found dead in her East Las Vegas home on Dec. 26 at around 9:30 p.m. Evidence at the scene suggested she was raped, the LVMPD said.
Police had questioned Nuttall after the gruesome crime, but were unable to nail him at the time.
DiFelice’s roommate had told police she saw him standing outside the home earlier that day, according to documents obtained by 8 News Now.
“Nuttall asked if he could sleep in the house, as he had nowhere else to go,” the report said. “[The roommate] said she could not allow that because [DiFelice] was in the house and didn’t know him well.”
LVMPD Lt. Jason Johansson said Nuttall knew the roommate and may have met DiFelice in passing, 8 News Now reported.
Officers collected numerous items of evidence but were unable to identify a suspect.
The cold-blooded murder remained unsolved until cold-case detectives reviewed it in February 2021. The officers resubmitted the evidence for testing using new DNA technology, the LVMPD said.
DNA found under DiFelice’s fingernails matched a recent sample from Nuttall that detectives had taken from him in early October.
Officers also found a drinking glass in DiFelice’s home with a fingerprint that they later found matched Nuttall, as well as “numerous black or dark hairs” on her stomach.
Nuttall was identified as the alleged killer and arrested Thursday on warrants issued for open murder with the use of a deadly weapon, sexual assault with the use of a deadly weapon and burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon.