Detectives make arrest in 45-year-old murder mystery

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EL PASO, Tx. – Detectives say a 45-year-old murder mystery may have finally come to a close.

Willie James Johnson, 70, was arrested on September 28 in Madison County, Mississippi after new DNA testing linked him to the murder of Doris Rivers, a 21-year-old El Paso mother.

Johnson was a 25-year-old Fort Bliss soldier when the crime happened in November of 1970.

Police said Johnson wanted a romantic relationship with Rivers, but she resisted.

A relative found Rivers’ body inside her South-Central El Paso home on November 12 of that year.

According to KTSM, investigators collected DNA evidence from Rivers’ body, but never made any arrests.

The case eventually went cold until 2013 when Rivers’ granddaughter contacted El Paso police to ask for information on the case.

That is when the police department retrieved the stored DNA and sent it off to be tested.

The DNA results showed Johnson was a match.

He is now awaiting extradition to El Paso.

 

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