SEATTLE (AP) — DNA usually provides the evidence that solves a cold case homicide, but the King County sheriff says improved fingerprint technology led to the arrest of a Reno man in the 1978 slaying of an 80-year-old woman near Seattle.
The sheriff’s office says 50-year-old Ronald Wayne MacDonald was arrested Thursday and charged with murder in the death of Arlene Roberts during a robbery. The widow lived alone. She was strangled with a hair net.
The case went unsolved until 2010 when cold case detectives re-analyzed latent fingerprints in her mobile home. They found three matches for MacDonald. He was questioned by detectives in June.
The sheriff’s office says MacDonald has a record of burglary convictions in Florida and Washington and was living near Roberts at the time of her death.