Police have arrested a 55-year-old man in connection with a cold case murder of a trans woman in 1994.
James William Grimsley was arrested in Concord, California on Thursday (26 January) on suspicion of murdering Terrie Ladwig 29 years ago.
The 28-year-old trans woman was reportedly beaten and strangled to death in her Concord apartment on 2 December 1994.
Police connected the crime to Grimsley, who would have been 26 years old at the time, following a periodical re-review of cold case killings earlier this month.
Police Lieutenant Sean Donnelly told local press “forensic evidence” was found at the scene of the crime, but that no specific link would be clarified.
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“We are confident he is the person who committed this murder,” Donnelly said in an interview with Mercury News.
The Oregon truck driver was arrested at his current home in Utah by Salt Lake City officers working with Concord officials.
He has since been sent to Salt Lake County jail in Utah on a $1 million fugitive warrant and has been charged with murder for allegedly strangling Ladwig with an extension cord.
He is to be extradited to Contra Costa County this week according to authorities, who are still investigating his motive.
Detectives reported that, while investigations his ties to the area are ongoing, his job could have brought him to Contra Costa County, where the murder took place, in the 1990s.
‘She was young and had her whole life ahead of her’
Ladwig reportedly lived in Concord with her husband, who worked in the US Navy at the time.
A 2004 report from Contra Costa Times read that, during the incident, she contacted her husband upon hearing someone trying to break into the house.
After rushing home from a base in Bangor, Washington, he found her body and immediately contacted the police.
Her husband was initially tried as a suspect in the case and was given an “other than honourable” discharge from his post at the US Navy, but was eliminated as a suspect shortly after.
“This victim, Terrie Ladwig, was only 28 at the time,” Donnelly continued.
“She was young and had her whole life ahead of her. Hopefully there will be some justice after all these years.”