The man believed to have stabbed a young woman to death in south Minneapolis 27 years ago was arrested Tuesday, following a new look at DNA and physical evidence.
Police say the suspect, 56, was arrested in South St. Paul on suspicion of murder in the 1991 death of Belinda Thompson, 20, of Minneapolis. He was booked in the Hennepin County jail, pending formal charges.
In keeping with its policy, the Star Tribune is not naming the suspect because he hasn’t yet been charged.
“We owed it to Belinda and her family to never give up on finding her killer, and while nothing will ever bring her back, we hope it will bring some comfort to those who loved her that we, working with our law enforcement partners, are in a position to hold her alleged killer responsible,” Jill Sanborn, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office, said in a statement.
News of the arrest came on the eve of the 27th anniversary of Thompson’s death. She was found stabbed to death on Dec. 19, 1991, in the bedroom of her apartment in the 2800 block of Grand Avenue. The suspected killer, who was 29 at the time of her death, was thought to have been an acquaintance of her boyfriend. Thompson’s murder, one of dozens logged in 1991, at height of the city’s crack cocaine epidemic, received only scant local media coverage.
The head of the homicide unit was quoted in the Star Tribune a few days later calling her death “a real whodunit.” With no real motive, the investigation cooled as leads dried up.
The man’s arrest comes after a yearlong re-examination of the case by FBI, Minneapolis police and the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Investigators tested DNA and physical evidence found at the scene, which linked the suspect to the slaying, according to a news release.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo credited the arrest to dogged detective work.
“Today’s arrest demonstrates that we will never give up on these cases,” he said through a spokesman.
Minneapolis police said they have not been able to connect with Thompson’s family.