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Utah 22-Year-Old’s Cold-Case Murder Was Solved After a ‘Miracle’ Forensic Discovery

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Bradley Perry was working the graveyard shift at his family’s gas station in Box Elder County, Utah, when he was bound, beaten and stabbed to death in May 1984, in what authorities have reportedly described as a robbery gone wrong.

According to the Deseret News, customers at the gas station that morning described encountering an apparent station attendant around the time of Perry’s death — a man who gave them gas and sold them cigarettes.

But one of the dollar bills he gave them as change had blood on it, the News reported. The pair of customers drove to the police, who soon found Perry in a back room at the gas station, dead.

He had just turned 22 before his killing and was newly engaged, but his case went unsolved for nearly 25 years.

In December 2008, his killer was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted of capital homicide, according to the News.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Later this month, A&E’s Cold Case Files will air a closer look at what happened to Perry and how authorities were able to crack open the dormant investigation.

In an exclusive preview of the episode, they describe the moment they realized key forensic evidence may exist and that “this case may actually get solved.”

One investigator previously called the DNA discovery and match a “miracle,” according to the News.

“The Brad Perry case has some of the most surprising evidentiary twists of the season,” production executive Ari Mark said in a statement to PEOPLE.

“What also makes the episode special is our access to the victim’s family,” said Mark, whose production company, AMPLE, is behind Cold Case Files.

He described the Perrys as “a tight-knit Mormon family dealing with tragedy and a crisis of faith.”

Cold Case Files‘ episode on the case will air on May 25 (10 p.m. ET) on A&E.