Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cold Case DNA Identified Homicide Suspect After More Than 32 Years In Bridgewater, Pennsylvania

Gregory Scott Hopkins

Photo: AP

Homicide suspect was boyfriend who admitted to police in 1979 he hadn't had sex with the victim at her apartment for over a month before her death.

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 31, 2012

Bridgewater, Pennsylvania - On Monday, Beaver County District Attorney Anthony J. Berosh during a press conference announced the arrest of Pennsylvania builder Gregory Scott Hopkins, 65, on Sunday for the September 1, 1979 murder of Catherine Janet Walsh, 23, of Monaca. Hopkins was Walsh's boyfriend at the time. After more than 32 years ago, police had questioned him just seven hours after Walsh's body was found at her apartment by her father, according to cold-case records.
Police determined Walsh's death as a homicide caused by strangulation, according to an autopsy.
Hopkins told police in 1979, that he hadn't had sex with the victim at her apartment for over a month before her death. Police in 2010, resubmitted DNA evidence found in a light-blue bandana around Walsh's neck, a rope, which was used to bound her hands behind her back, nightgown and bedsheets at the crime scene to a state crime forensic lab for analysis. A break resulted in the cold-case, after the crime scene DNA matched Hopkins. DNA technology didn't exist back then, according to Berosh.
Hopkins has operated a local building and construction business since Walsh's homicide and was elected as a Republican to the Bridgewater City Council in 2010. Hopkins is expected to plead not guilty in the case.

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