Suspect Recently Identified in an Nearly 35-Year-Old Oklahoma Murder Cold Case Is Arrested
A suspect has been identified in an Oklahoma murder that took place more than three decades ago.
Earl Wilson, 55, has been charged with first-degree murder for the September 1985 stabbing of Paul Aikman after his DNA was connected to the scene, Attorney General Mike Hunter announced Tuesday.
When Aikman was stabbed to death 35 years ago, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s (OSBI) agents collected cigarette butts and latent prints from the Turner Turnpike — which connects Tulsa with Oklahoma City, where the murder took place — according to Hunter's press release.
Although a DNA profile was created at the time, no matches were found and the case went cold — until last year, when OSBI criminalists finally found a potential match to the DNA discovered at the scene in Wilson. His prints were later matched to those at the scene as well, the Attorney General's press release stated.
"Advances in DNA technology are allowing authorities to take another look at these difficult cases," Hunter said in a statement. "Just because cases go cold doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t be held responsible, even after three decades. I appreciate OSBI Director Ricky Adams, who has put a priority on these cases through the development of the Cold Case Unit."
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
OSBI Director Ricky Adams added in a statement that the charges against Wilson will hopefully bring some closure to the Aikman family after all these years.
"For 35 years, Paul Aikman’s family has ached not knowing who was responsible for his murder," Adams said in a statement. "35 years have passed, but we have not forgotten about Paul."
"Thanks to science and determined police work by OSBI agents and our Cold Case Unit, we are pleased to announce that the suspect in Paul’s murder has been identified," he added. "I would like to give thanks Attorney General Hunter and his staff for taking this case, filing a murder charge and giving a voice to Paul and his family."
Wilson is currently serving time at the North Fork Correctional Center for sexual battery, prison records show.
It was not immediately clear if Wilson has legal representation.