Rapid City authorities have solved a cold case murder from over 50 years ago thanks to new DNA testing.
Monday, police announced the person who killed Gwen Miller back in 1968 was Eugene Carroll Field from Rapid City.
Miller’s body was found in her bedroom on February 29, 1968, after she didn’t show up for work.
Field had lived next door to Miller for a short period of time. An autopsy showed she had been strangled and sexually assaulted.
Field died back in 2009 of cancer.
One of Miller’s nieces spoke at the news conference on behalf of her family. She shared memories of her aunt and thanked police and the genealogist who worked on solving this case.
“Anyone who touched this investigation, the family of Gwen Miller offer you our gratitude and our appreciation and thank you for giving us an answer,” Kay Miller Temple said.
The lead detective reopened the cold case back in 2015.
Wayne Keith says, since that time, there have been well over 4,000 hours spent on it and thanked the DCI, the state crime lab and the California lab that did the DNA testing.
“I like to thank Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick for the work she has done on this case, if it were not for her coming up with those near matches, this case never would have been solved,” Wayne Keefe said.
Investigators say what made re-investigating this cold case even more difficult — a lot of the original police reports were destroyed in the 1972 Rapid City flood.