32 Years After Brutal Killing, a Fingerprint Leads to an Arrest

Nathan Eugene Mathis faces murder charge in murder of 75-year-old California man in 1986
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 25, 2018 3:50 PM CDT
DNA testing in this 2017 file photo.   (Mary Cloud Taylor/The Daily Inter Lake via AP)

(Newser) – Richard Finney died a brutal death in 1986, one so violent that his murderer bent the first kitchen knife he was using to stab 75-year-old Finney and had to get a second, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Now, authorities have arrested a suspect in the stabbing death more than three decades ago in Southern California, reports the AP. The Union-Tribune reported Monday that Nathan Eugene Mathis faces a charge of murder and an allegation that he used a knife in the attack. The 62-year-old retired security guard pleaded not guilty last week.

Police in Escondido say technology led to new analysis of fingerprints from the apartment where Finney was stabbed 31 times in 1986. Investigators haven't named a possible motive or said whether the defendant and the victim knew each other. "I was shocked out of my mind," Gina Turi Curry, Finney's granddaughter, 49, said of the police call. "We always knew they were doing all they can. I just cannot believe that after all of these years, they arrested a suspect."

(Read more cold cases stories.)

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