Las Vegas police crack 1980 cold case with DNA

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Las Vegas Metropolitan Police have arrested a suspect in a 1980 cold case with the help of DNA.

LVMPD Lt. Jason Johansson announced that Paul Nuttall, 64, was arrested in connection with the Dec. 26, 1980 murder of Sandra DiFelice.

Police said in Feb. 2021, they received a call from DiFelice’s daughter, who was 3 years old at the time of the murder, asking for an update on the investigation. LVMPD detectives reviewed the case and found new evidence to be submitted for DNA testing.

“DNA recovered from under the finger nails of Sandra DiFelice identified the suspect as Paul Nuttall,” Johansson said in a Monday news release. “Paul Nuttall was identified initially as a person of interest in the initial phase of the investigation.”

Later, the Clark County District Attorney issued an arrest warrant for Nuttall, who was taken into custody by LVMPD and the FBI. Nuttall was arrested in northwest Las Vegas.

“After Paul Nuttall was taken into custody, my cold case investigators had the pleasure of making the phone call that every cold case detective wants to make,” Johansson said. “And that was to call the family member, specifically Sandra DiFelice’s daughter, and let her know that there had been a development case, and that we had arrested the suspect responsible for the murder.”

Nuttall was a person of interest during the initial investigation, LVMPD said.

“We did identify a fingerprint in the residence that belonged to Paul Nuttall. But after several interviews with witnesses and people related to Sandra DiFelice we found an explanation for why that fingerprint was there,” Johansson said. “We don’t believe that Paul Nuttall was a friend of Sandra DiFelice’s but we do know that he knew her roommate, and that they knew each other possible in passing.”

Nuttall was expected to be in court Monday morning.

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