Detectives credit technology in cracking 37-year cold case - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Detectives credit technology in cracking 37-year cold case

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Donna Smith (Source: Tucson Police Department) Donna Smith (Source: Tucson Police Department)
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A family is getting closure after a cold case has been solved after decades of investigations.
 
The crime took place on E. Mossman Road 37 years ago.

One resident has lived in the neighborhood since the 70s; she did not know this victim but she was very emotional when she heard about this arrest decades after the crime.
 
"I had tears. Tears coming down knowing that you have to pay for a crime. You have to pay that price," said resident Lois Dudley.
 
In March of 1976, police responded to the 1000 block of East Mossman where they found a brutally murdered young female.

From the start, her live-in boyfriend Bruce McCullough, 28, has been the prime suspect.

A new name, combined with the effects of age, made it hard for police to find this man. For 37 years he lived in California, using a fake name.

He almost got away. Then police said he made one mistake.

"In January we re-opened the case file, did a tedious review, [and] discovered Mr. McCullough had applied for health care benefits due to his age," Tucson Police Department Capt. Michael Gillooly said.
 
He had to use his real name to apply for those benefits.

Police describe his reaction when they knocked on his door in San Diego last week.
 
"It was interesting," Gillooly said. "[They] didn't tell him at first. When they told him they were from Tucson. He invited them into the house and said we have to chat and began to give them a long statement of what had occurred."
 
"I think he thought he got away with it," Dudley said. "[He] didn't think anybody was smart enough to catch him. And he was caught."
 
"Investigators did a good job; 37 years later still investigating this case," E. Mossman resident Pedro Cebrefa said.

Tucson police have two full-time detectives assigned to the cold case unit. Police said they have about 300 cold cases on file at this time. Every year they will crack open these files, and on average, solve maybe two to three of these cases in a good year.

Detectives are thanking technology for helping to crack this one.

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