Phoenix cold case squad sees success after getting grant - WSMV Channel 4

Phoenix cold case squad sees success after getting grant

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Phoenix Police Department Det. JJ Alberta says a grant from the National Institute of Justice investigators helped solve a 25-year-old Phoenix murder case. (Source: CBS 5 News) Phoenix Police Department Det. JJ Alberta says a grant from the National Institute of Justice investigators helped solve a 25-year-old Phoenix murder case. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The body of Laura Hunding, 27, was found in her apartment July 17, 1989. She had been raped and stabbed to death. The body of Laura Hunding, 27, was found in her apartment July 17, 1989. She had been raped and stabbed to death.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

It took a quarter-century of investigation and a federal grant to lead Phoenix police to a suspect in a cold-case murder.

"The victim's name was Laura Hunding. She was found inside her apartment of July 1989," said Phoenix Police Department Det. JJ Alberta.

According to the police report, the 27-year-old woman was raped and stabbed before she died. Detectives said the killer left her to die on the living room floor.

"The original investigators contacted numerous people both from the apartment and groups of her friends. All the leads kind of hit a dead end and the case went cold," Alberta said.

Years went by, but because of a grant from the National Institute of Justice investigators were able to take another look at the case.

"When I reviewed it in 2011 I was aware that a DNA profile from a crime scene sample was entered into a DNA database," Alberta said.

The sample didn't get a hit initially, but in January it was run again and the name Cudellious Love popped up.

He was arrested Friday and charged by the Maricopa County District Attorney's Office with premeditated first-degree murder in Hunding's death.

Officers had recently obtained his DNA following a drug arrest.

"The cases from the '80s and '90s that hadn't been screened or looked at from a DNA standpoint previously, we've been able to do a lot with that since technology has advanced," Alberta said.

There were two examples of that last month alone.

Phoenix police charged 60-year-old Arlie Tubbs with strangling a woman to death back in 1980.

Detectives also used forensic evidence to link Dean Babbit to the killing of his business partner Robert Krahn 20 years ago.

"I think a large amount of the credit needs to go to older investigators that did a thorough job of collecting everything they needed to collect at the crime scene and processing it the right way," Alberta said.

CBS 5 News spoke with some of Love's neighbors. They said that he seemed like a good church-going man. However, they said Love had recently started using drugs again after police collected a DNA sample last month.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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