SAN LUIS OBISPO CO., Calif. (CNN Newsource) – Investigators say an old razor helped them crack a 41-year-old double murder case in California.
On Wednesday, officials identified Arthur Rudy Martinez as the suspect in the murders of two women in San Luis Obispo County. He passed away 25 years ago.
Jane Morton Antunez and Patricia Dwyer were killed two months apart in the late 1970s after being sexually assaulted.
Martinez was among the original suspects but investigators didn’t have evidence against him.
But 15 years ago, they got his old razor that his girlfriend never threw away.
Now authorities say DNA samples from it have linked Martinez to the murders.
“I had some Department of Justice investigators go back and they were able to collect an old razor of his that we submitted to the lab, and that’s when they got the DNA from the skin cells on the razor,” Sheriff Ian Parkinson said.
Parkinson said he reached out to the victims’ close family and friends.
“The family was relieved that it wasn’t somebody they knew because there were a lot of potential suspects, especially early on, that were close friends and knew the families.”
Less than a year after the murders, Martinez was sentenced to life in Washington State for unrelated robberies and rapes.
He later escaped and lived free for 20 years until he turned himself in in 1994.
Martinez died that same year of cancer.