An Indiana man serving a life sentence for the abduction and murder of an eastern Illinois girl over two decades ago has been identified as a suspect in the strangulation of a woman found in 1986 outside a southwestern Illinois town.
St. Clair County investigators have questioned and taken a DNA sample from Larry D. Hall in their revamped investigation into the death of Eulalia Mylia Chavez of Palo Alto, California. She wasn't identified until 2007, after an exhumation led authorities to find they make a mistake when fingerprinting her. The case was reopened.
Before then she'd been known as "The Summerfield Woman" and "Summerfield Jane Doe" to authorities, named for the community where she was found.
"We said to ourselves, 'We can solve this. This is solvable,'" County Sheriff Rick Watson told The Belleville, Illinois, News-Democrat.
In May, two county investigators traveled to interview Hall at the North Carolina federal prison where he's serving his sentence, according to the newspaper. Hall, of Wabash, Indiana, was convicted in the kidnapping and murder of Jessica Roach, who went missing in 1993 near Georgetown, Illinois. Her body was found weeks later in an Indiana cornfield.
Hall has been suspected in other cases over the years and confessed to dozens of crimes, including details about Chavez. But he later recanted the information.
It was unclear if he has an attorney. Investigators said even if there is a DNA match to Chavez, Hall won't be prosecuted. He can't be released from prison and Illinois no longer has the death penalty.
Chavez, who was 28 at the time of her death, had been hitchhiking around the country.