A man has been arrested in Las Vegas and charged in connection with a 42-year-old cold case murder, police announced this week.

Paul Nuttall, 64, was taken into custody on a number of charges last Thursday, including open murder with the use of a deadly weapon, sexual assault with a deadly weapon and burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He has been booked at the Clark County Detention Center, authorities said.

A photo of Sandra DiFelice provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

LVMPD / Facebook

Nuttall was identified as a suspect in the murder of Sandra DiFelice, who was 25 years old at the time of her death in 1980, according to Las Vegas police. On the evening of Dec. 26 of that year, officers with the police department responded to a call reporting a dead body inside an east Las Vegas home. When they arrived, officers say they found the victim already deceased and evidence at the scene indicated that she had been sexually assaulted.

Although investigators with the Las Vegas police department’s homicide unit at one point developed a lead and eventual person of interest while pursuing DiFelice’s case, they were not able to successfully identify a suspect and the murder went unsolved for decades. It was ultimately assigned to the department’s cold case division, Las Vegas police said.

DiFelice is pictured with her daughter, who was 3 years old at the time of her death.

LVMPD / Facebook

Detectives reopened the case in February 2021. When they reviewed and resubmitted evidence for DNA tests using updated technology, authorities said they finally identified Nuttall as a match.

Nuttall was 21 when DiFelice was murdered. Among the evidence alleging his involvement in her death is a fingerprint that matched one Las Vegas detectives collected from a drinking glass found in DiFelice’s living room, according to CBS affiliate KLAS, which reviewed documents related to the case. DiFelice’s roommate, who police said knew Nuttall, later told police that she had seen Nuttall outside of their home earlier on the day of her murder, KLAS reported.

“Nuttall asked if he could sleep in the house, as he had nowhere else to go,” the report said, according to KLAS. “[The roommate] said she could not allow that because [DiFelice] was in the house and didn’t know him well.”

Two weeks ago, documents showed that a DNA sample taken from Nuttall at the end of last year matched a sample collected from DiFelice’s fingernails after the murder, according to KLAS. 

He is being held without bail ahead of his next court appearance on Wednesday, the station reported.