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