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1977 rape, murder case solved but suspect is already dead

The elderly North Carolina woman's killing was solved using DNA, Raleigh Police say.
Credit: WRAL
Alma Jones, 77, was raped and killed in 1977

RALEIGH, N.C. — Police said Wednesday that they have solved a 44-year-old murder case, but the suspect is already dead.

Alma Jones, 77, was raped and killed in 1977, but no one was ever charged. In 2011, police were transferring boxes of evidence from older cases when they came across Jones' case and started looking into it again.

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With the help of Houston-based Othram Inc., Raleigh homicide detectives eventually developed a DNA profile of Jones' killer and identified Paul Crowder as the suspect.

RELATED: Man arrested in California charged with trying to rape Charlotte woman in 1998

Crowder, of Durham, died in 2015, but investigators persuaded one of his relatives to provide a saliva sample for a DNA comparison, which confirmed that he was the person responsible for Jones' death.

He was no relation to former Raleigh City Council members Thomas and Kay Crowder.

Read more on WRAL.com.