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California investigators identify suspect in 1988 cold case


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California authorities have identified a suspect in an unsolved murder case since 1988.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and Galt Police Chief Brian Kalinowski identified Terry Bramble as the prime suspect in the murder of 79-year-old Lucille Hultgren during a press conference Tuesday, a reported Fox 40 from Sacramento.

Terry Bramble was 32 when he sexually assaulted Hultgren inside his home, before stabbing and strangling her to death, Kalinowski said.

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The discovery was made possible by new technology in the field of DNA analysis, as it matched DNA collected during Bramble’s 1992 sexual assault conviction, Schubert said.

“The fingernail scrapes became the key to solving this case,” she said, pointing to DNA matching the scrapes found on Hultgren’s body.

Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert April 25, 2018, in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“For nearly two decades, our crime lab, the Sacramento County Crime Lab, has worked intensively to meticulously examine, investigate and find the evidence needed in this case,” she added, according to the report.

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Kalinowski also said investigators are now looking into whether Bramble was connected to other crimes, Fox Sacramento reported.

“We are surveying other jurisdictions to see if there are any common cold cases that we can look into not just here in our community but in the region,” he said.

California investigators identify suspect in 1988 cold case

The roof of a police patrol car at night, with flashing blue and red lights.
(Stock)

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Members of Hultgren’s church found her body at her home, where she had been living alone after her husband died the previous year.

California investigators identify suspect in 1988 cold case

Terry Leroy Bramble was identified as the prime suspect in a 1988 cold case by investigators on May 17, 2022. (Galt Police Department)
(Galt Police Department)

Bramble lived under a bridge for about five years before dying of natural causes in 2011, police said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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