BAY SHORE, N.Y.– Cutting-edge DNA technology helped solve a 42-year-old cold case murder on Long Island.Wednesday, the family of a young woman murdered decades ago got their first look at pictures of the man who killed her.As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports, they are grateful for long-sought answers.It was a 1980 tragedy and mystery.Twenty-year-old Eve Wilkowitz was walking home from the Bay Shore train station after returning from her job as a secretary in Manhattan.
She was abducted and found days later, raped and strangled.
Her murder was unsolved until now.”We solved the 42-year-old homicide case of Eve Wilkowitz …The perpetrator of that crime, a Herbert Rice, who is deceased,” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney announced Wednesday.Her sister, Irene Wilkowitz, is overwhelmed with relief.”I still can’t believe I heard those words, ‘We have identified the person responsible for the death of Eve,'” she said.Video: New Jersey Hiker Found Dead in Washington State After Reportedly Taking Mushrooms (Inside Edition) Global Landmarks Go Dark to Raise Awareness for Climate Change Filipino Artist Jesstoni Garcia Creates Portraits Using Only His Hair Zookeepers Celebrate Birth of a Rare Visayan Spotted Deer That’s on the Edge of Extinction Japanese Developer Has Created a Robot That Sorts and Packages Noodles Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe Portrait Expected to Set Record With $200 Million Sale Wisconsin Mom Gives Birth to Daughter in SUV off Interstate 94 Alleged Peeping Tom Surrenders After Reports of Peeking in Strangers’ Homes Sandra Bullock’s Purple Jumpsuit May Be the Real Star of ‘The Lost City’ Supreme Court Justice’s Wife Texted Trump Aide to Encourage Overturning Election Spring Break Party Nights Go Quiet as Miami’s Midnight Curfew Goes Into Effect College Roommates from Russia and Ukraine Oppose War from Delaware Campus North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Pretends to Be Action Hero in Missile Test Video Crematorium in Ukraine Packed With Unclaimed Urns Steve Wilhite, Inventor of the GIF, Dies at 74 from COVID Utah Trooper Unharmed When Patrol Car Hit by Semi Truck During Traffic Stop New Jersey Hiker Found Dead in Washington State After Reportedly Taking Mushrooms Tierney calls it a study in persistence and determination.Police kept DNA from the crime and over the years continued to compare it to criminal databases.
Finally, with new technology and access to public DNA databases, they found a relative’s match.They got a sample from a cooperating relative of Rice and exhumed Rice’s body, confirming a match.
“This is my first time seeing him.I didn’t Google him even though I knew his name for a couple of months now.I didn’t want to see the last face that Eve saw while she was still alive,” Wilkowitz said.It’s a small measure of closure for a family and relentless detectives.”A lot of really, really dogged investigators working collaboratively with the assistance of an unbelievable family,” Tierney said.
“Irene …who never lost faith in our investigators’ dedication,” Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said.Rice died of cancer in 1991.Prosecutors believe it was a crime of opportunity.He was living on the block where Eve Wilkowitz was abducted and her body dumped.”Mostly she liked being a big sister to me.She never got a chance to fulfill her dreams,” Irene Wilkowitz said.
“I’ve lived these last 42 years afraid all the time that I was going to be killed next.” This is first time a DNA match from a public database has solved a Suffolk murder case.The victim’s sister is hoping it can help other families.She and prosecutors thank Rice’s relatives in helping to solve this case.Prosecutors said they do not believe Rice was responsible for any other murders..