A cold case investigation in Utah has been closed after DNA testing recognized skeletal stays found 42 years in the past as these of a missing girl whose household suspected had been murdered by her late husband.
Investigators confirmed that the stays belong to Sandra Matott, who was 37 when she vanished in 1979, the Salt Lake Metropolis Police Division said Friday in a press release.
“Regardless of how a lot time passes, the detectives of the Salt Lake Metropolis Police Division won’t ever let up of their quest to unravel each case and to get solutions for family members,” Police Chief Mike Brown stated in an announcement.
Matott’s husband, Warren Matott, reported her lacking on July 18, 1979. He claimed that she was final seen at a bar in Salt Lake Metropolis eight days earlier, investigators stated. Detectives tried to comply with up with Matott on the time however couldn’t attain him.
A month later, on Aug. 19, a searching social gathering found skeletal human stays in Millard County. Police stated there have been no indicators of homicidal violence, however because of the suspicious circumstances, the Millard County Sheriff’s Workplace opened a homicide investigation.
The state’s health worker couldn’t decide a reason for loss of life from the stays. The bones wouldn’t be linked to Sandra Matott’s disappearance till 2019, seven years after investigators reopened the case.
In 1984, Henry Lee Lucas, a convicted serial killer who claimed duty for greater than 100 murders, confessed to killing Matott. Nonetheless, police stated his claims have been imprecise and detectives couldn’t confirm the confession.
Lucas would later recant his confessions. Investigators decided he carried out a few of the murders however had lied concerning the others.
With the case nonetheless unresolved, Salt Lake Metropolis police took one other take a look at it in late 2012. Matott’s household advised detectives that they believed Warren Matott was liable for her disappearance and loss of life. Warren Matott died in 1999 in California.
Investigators stated Warren Matott probably had extra details about the disappearance and loss of life of Sandra Matott however there was by no means any possible trigger to cost him in connection to the case.
Investigators closed the case after Millard County Sheriff’s Workplace notified Salt Lake Metropolis police in 2019 concerning the stays found a long time in the past and despatched them for DNA testing.
Matott’s household stated they’re blissful to have a few of the solutions they have been looking for.
“As a household we’re blissful about this growth, but additionally unhappy it took this lengthy,” Matott’s son, Darrell Haymes, stated in an announcement. “Forty-two years is a very long time. We’re blissful that the investigators by no means closed the case and continued to work on it so we might attain this level.”