1970's cold case solved in Ithaca

David Grimes / Courtesy: Ithaca police

Ithaca police have solved a 34-year-old cold case.

At a news conference Monday morning, Ithaca police announced that a man already in prison for another crime was linked to the murder through DNA.

On September 16, 1977, 75-year-old Ruth Van Houten was found dead on her bed at her home at 412 West Seneca Street. At the time, police collected fingerprints and other items from the scene.

Back then, they interviewed David Grimes, but they had no positive link connecting him to the crime scene.

In January 2010, police did a case review and sent the crime scene information to the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center in Albany. Police say they received a DNA match to Grimes.

He's currently in Clinton Correctional Facility serving a 50 year to life sentence for burglary, robbery and felony assault. At this point, Grimes has not been charged with Van Houten's death.

Since then, police have spoken to her family. They did not want to proceed with a criminal trial against him.

Grimes is not eligible for parole until 2040, when he will be 93-years-old.