After killing and raping his victim 46 years ago, a Colorado man has stepped forward to testify of his crimes in court. He avoided arrest since 1970 as there was no evidence linking him to the crime, because he destroyed all evidence at the scene.
Image: Loretta Jones
The rapist, a 76-year-old Colorado man was arrested Thursday in the 1970 murder and rape of a 23-year-old Utah woman, authorities said.
Thomas Edward Egley confessed to the July 1970 murder and rape of Loretta Jones, the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release, according to Fox 13 Now.
Sgt. David Brewer said that Egley also confessed to destroying evidence that would have linked him to the crime.
“We’re grateful for the hard work that Carbon County investigators put into solving this 45 year old cold case,” Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a press release. “I hope this arrest brings some measure of closure to the family, even after all these years.”
Killer: Thomas Edward Egley
After a long fruitless search for the Loretta Jones’ killer, police closed the murder case but in 2009, the victim’s family requested that investigations into the murder be reopened.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a neighbor convinced Egley to confess to investigators and arranged the man to meet with investigators at his home in Colorado, according to charging documents.
Sgt. Brewer told the paper last year that Egley and Jones used to date and that Egley had asked his neighbor how long DNA evidence and semen lasted when Jones’ body was exhumed.
The Tribune added that Egley revealed to the police in a hearty confession, how he had slit Jones’ throat when the young girl denied him sex.
Image: Loretta Jones
According to charging documents, the murder suspect took his time to explain the gruesome killing in detail while confessing to his neighbor.
He claims that he was unaware Loretta died after the knife attack, adding that he thought she was still alive during the sexual assault before after which he “cut her throat”. Then he left her corpse on the floor until the deceased’s 4-year-old daughter found her dead in the living room, the court paper confirms.
Egley told his neighbor that he then went back to his hotel room, bathed with all of his clothes on and then threw the clothes out the next day. He said he also tossed the knife he used to murder Jones in the river behind the hotel.
A doctor who examined Jones’ body in 1970 testified that she died from “internal bleeding, caused by stab wounds in the pulmonary artery, lungs and heart,” charges state. He added that he found semen in Jones’ vagina.
Egley was arrested in November 1970 and charged with murder. However, the charges were dismissed for lack of evidence.
Egley, of Rocky Ford, Colo., was arrested on a $1 million warrant. He awaits extradition to Utah to face rape and murder charges.
“The community of Carbon County, particularly the victim’s daughter who was four years old at the time, can finally find solace in knowing Loretta Jones’s family will have the justice they deserve resulting from the tragic death of Ms. Jones some 45 years ago,” Carbon County Attorney Gene Strate said.
“Sergeant Brewer and Detective Hendricks from the Carbon County Sheriff’s office should be commended for their efforts,” he added.