NORMAN, Okla. – Norman police are re-opening a cold case that has remained unsolved for last two decades.
New staff members are creating brand new leads in the case.
Norman police found the body of Dorothy Estes at her home on May 8, 1989; she was naked from the waist down.
The medical examiner ruled it murder.
“The evidence indicated she had been strangled,” Norman Police Capt. Tom Easley said.
The murder happened over 20 years ago and after all this time, police said they finally have a new lead in the case.
“We’ll get a new detective that shows promise and hand him an old case file or a homicide that’s unsolved and say, ‘look through it and see if you spot anything,’” Easley said
The cold case was given to Detective Derrick Hopkins.
He found a link to a similar murder in Anadarko two months after the Estes murder.
Hopkins tracked down the suspect in that murder, got a search warrant for DNA and located 48-year-old Timothy John Bates (AKA Anthony Archilta) of Oklahoma City.
Bates has a history of violence.
“There’s a lot of information that he has some sort of problem getting along with women based on the number of incidences reported to the police,” Easley said. “And God knows how many incidences have not been reported to the police.”
This new lead gives police hope they will finally be able to give the Estes family the justice they’ve been waiting on for the last 20 years.
“I really commend the investigator that spotted this,” Easley said. “He did a very good and thorough job on it. Obviously it had been through other folks that didn’t pick up on it, he did.”
Police said they won’t know if they have the right suspect until the DNA analysis comes back but they’re optimistic.
“Just to have some hope here is exciting,” Easley said.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is handling the DNA analysis.
The results should be back in the next two to six weeks