Authorities in Dallas, Texas, announced Friday they’d made an arrested in the 38-year-old rape and murder of Mary Jane Thompson.
Thompson, 21, was found dead behind a Dallas warehouse on February 13, 1984, but her killer had never been found.
Advanced DNA techniques led investigators to Edward Morgan, now 60, who has been jailed on one count of capital murder, Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot said.
Thompson, an aspiring model, moved to Dallas about six months before her death after previously living in Houston and Los Angeles, the Dallas Morning News reported. In Dallas, she worked at a florist’s shop and a restaurant and was last seen two days before she was found dead. She had been strangled with her own leg warmers.
The district attorney’s office said the case had been reopened in 2009, when DNA testing found an unidentified male profile on swabs from the autopsy, and again in 2018, when Dallas Police Cold Case Detective Noe Camacho began working with new types of forensic testing.
Two years later, the FBI joined the investigation, and the DNA found in the case was submitted for forensic genetic genealogy analysis — the same technology that was used to catch Joseph James, DeAngelo, the Golden State Killer. And that analysis confirmed this week that Morgan matched the DNA found in Thompson’s autopsy.
Assistant District Attorney Leighton D’Antoni pointed out the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force and Camacho for their efforts, along with a large team of investigators.
“It is not every day we are able to solve a 38-year-old cold case capital murder,” said D’Antoni. “It takes a singular dedication and authentic commitment to justice to see it through. The people of Dallas are very lucky to have them helping to protect our community.”
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast