GULFPORT, Miss. — A southern Mississippi homicide that has gone unsolved for 40 years has now been declared solved due to the confessions of a man convicted in three California murders but long suspected in dozens of deaths.

Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson says 78-year-old Samuel Little has been charged in the 1978 killing of 36-year-old Julia Critchfield. Peterson said Little was questioned in a Texas jail about the Critchfield death and knew details only the killer would have known.

Peterson says the woman's body was found at the bottom of a dirt pit in Saucier. An autopsy determined that she was strangled to death.

Texas authorities have said Little has now provided details in more than 90 deaths nationwide dating to about 1970 and have matched him with more than 30 so far.