A Kentucky man has been arrested nearly 30 years after a woman was raped and murdered in her Indiana home.
Gloria Hansell, a 69-year-old old widow, was found strangled on June 17, 1994, according to the FBI Indianapolis. She lived alone in the Gary home and relied on an oxygen machine.
The case went unsolved for decades. On Tuesday, the FBI announced Gerald Lynn Smith, 60, of Madisonville, Kentucky, was charged with murder, murder while committing or attempting to commit rape, and rape.
Two years ago, Indiana State Police asked the FBI to reexamine the evidence. A lab found that male DNA from Hansell’s sexual assault kit was a match for Smith. With him as their suspect, FBI officials working the case were able to place Smith in Gary around the time of Hansell’s murder, and learned that he knew Hansell.
A witness told authorities that Smith had been at Hansell’s house several times in the weeks before her death — he had asked to mow her lawn for money, and had made an unwanted advance at her while they were in her home, the FBI said. The then-32-year-old told Hansell he had just moved to the area from out of state.
The FBI’s gang response investigative team asks anyone with information on this case or any other cold case to call 219-942-4899.