Lucille Hultgren was assaulted and strangled inside of her Northern California home by an intruder in 1988. Police say they finally know who killed her. Photo courtesy Galt Police Department/Facebook
Two friends went to her home and discovered Hultgren's body after she hadn't been seen for a while, and crime scene technicians collected scrapings from beneath her fingernails as evidence. It would be years, however, before DNA technology advanced to the point that the trace evidence could be connected to the killer.
Authorities said that Terry Bramble was a transient and convicted sex offender who died in 2011. Photo courtesy Galt Police Department/Facebook
Authorities said Tuesday that the suspect is Terry Leroy Bramble, who was 32 at the time when police say he sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled Hultgren -- who was last seen alive on her 79th birthday. Bramble is now dead.
Officials said it took so long to identify Bramble because it was decades before the forensic technology was capable of decoding such a small amount of DNA. Previous efforts to match the DNA to the killer were not successful.
Authorities said that Bramble was a transient and convicted sex offender who died in 2011.
"I'm glad the case was solved, but I wish the man was still alive," Henry Hultgren told reporters on Tuesday, according to the Sacramento Bee.