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Man arrested after son's DNA links him to decades-old murder

Shola Lee

Published 
| Last updated 

Man arrested after son's DNA links him to decades-old murder

Featured Image Credit: HPD

A man has been arrested after his son's DNA linked him to a 50-year-old murder cold case.

On 7 January 1972, Nancy Elaine Anderson was found dead by her roommate at their apartment in Waikiki, Hawaii, covered in stab wounds.

Now, 50 years on, authorities have arrested 77-year-old Tudor Chirila in connection with the killing that left a 'hole in the hearts' of her family.

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So, how exactly did authorities come to find Tudor? And what happens now?

Well, the case ran cold for years but picked up traction again in 2020 when the Honolulu Police Department worked with Virginia-based Parabon NanoLabs to create a profile of the killer using DNA pulled from a blood-stained towel at the scene.

Nancy was just 19 years old when she was found stabbed to death in her apartment. Credit: Honolulu Police Department
Nancy was just 19 years old when she was found stabbed to death in her apartment. Credit: Honolulu Police Department

From the DNA, authorities were able to render a physical depiction of the suspected killer, with the Honolulu Police Department saying in an update to the case: "Using DNA evidence from this investigation, Parabon produced trait predictions for a person of interest (POI) in this case. Individual predictions were made for the subject’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape.

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"By combining these attributes of appearance, a Snapshot composite was produced depicting what the POI may have looked like at 25 years old and with an average body-mass index (BMI) of 22.

"These default values were used because age and BMI cannot be determined from DNA."

Police were able to render this sketch using DNA from the scene. Credit: Credit: Honolulu Police Department
Police were able to render this sketch using DNA from the scene. Credit: Credit: Honolulu Police Department

Then, in 2021, authorities received a tip about Tudor, who worked as a grad assistant in Hawaii at the time of Nancy's murder.

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They needed Tudor's DNA to test against the sample collected, but didn't have a warrant. So, authorities asked Tudor's son, who lives in California, if they could test him instead - and he agreed.

The DNA came back as a partial match to that on the towel, suggesting that a close relative was likely to be a full match.

This gave authorities the scope to attain a warrant to test Tudor's DNA and, you won't be shocked to learn, that it was a match.

The apartment block where Nancy was sadly found. Credit: Honolulu Police Department
The apartment block where Nancy was sadly found. Credit: Honolulu Police Department
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Tudor was arrested in Reno, Nevada, and is currently awaiting extradition to Hawaii where he is expected to face trial.

Court documents reveal that Tudor attempted to take his own life last week, just two days after the DNA test, but is expected to survive.

The arrest offers some solace to Nancy's family, including her nine siblings who were left heartbroken by her death.

"She was an integral part of our family and when she was killed it just left a hole in our hearts and in our family," Nancy's brother Jack said.

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If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Topics: News, True crime, World News

Shola Lee
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