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DNA leads to arrest if Jerry Fletcher in cold case murder of Gina Justi

12:53 PM, Jun 14, 2011   |    comments
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Investigators say DNA links Jerry Fletcher (right) to the 1971 murder of 14-year-old Gina Justi.

 

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Cold case detectives say DNA helped them identify the suspect in the 1971 rape and murder of a 14-year-old Tampa girl.

Gina Justi was last seen alive on August 6, 1971. Her body was found the following day in a Palm Harbor orange grove.  Detectives say she'd been strangled and raped.

Previous Story: Cold case of murdered teenager

For almost 40 years, investigators were unable to come up with a suspect until now. In the last month, DNA linked 69-year-old Jerry Fletcher to the crime.

Fletcher is already serving a life sentence for another murder of a teenage girl, this one in Illinois in 1974. 

Detectives say in the early 1970s, Fletcher was a contract industrial painter in Tampa.  Detectives are now working with the state attorney's office to charge him with this murder.

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