Pennsylvania State Police Make Cold Case Arrest in 1979 Beaver County Homicide
HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania State Police and the Beaver County District Attorney's Office today announced the arrest of a Bridgewater man who is charged in the 1979 strangling death of Catherine Janet Walsh.
Gregory Scott Hopkins, 65, was arrested by state police on Sunday and charged with criminal homicide. He is being held at the Beaver County jail.
"I extend my sincere condolences to Catherine's father, Mr. Caltury, her family and friends during this difficult time," State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said. "I'm very hopeful that this arrest will give the family some relief, knowing that a suspect has been charged with this unsolved murder."
Walsh's father discovered his 23-year-old daughter's body when he went to her Monaca home on Sept. 1, 1979.
State police and the Monaca Borough Police Department began investigating, identifying Hopkins at the time as a possible suspect. Numerous items of evidence were sent to the State Police Crime Laboratory for processing during the entire course of the investigation. However, investigators were unable to generate enough evidence against Hopkins to make an arrest.
In late 2010, investigators resubmitted various items of evidence collected in connection with the case to the Pennsylvania State Police Greensburg Regional Crime Laboratory for forensic analysis. The lab concluded earlier this month that a sample taken from Hopkins positively matched evidence found at the scene.
"The purpose of resubmitting these items was to have the evidence examined using methods and technology that were not available to investigators in 1979," Noonan said. "We are extremely pleased that justice is finally being served for Catherine. It shows the tenacity of the investigators involved and the staff at the State Police Crime Laboratory.
"Invaluable assistance from the Beaver County District Attorney's Office was instrumental in the success of this investigation and the subsequent arrest of Hopkins," said Noonan.
If you have information on a serious crime or wanted person, call Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers Toll Free at 1-800-4PA-TIPS or visit their website at www.PACrimeStoppers.org.
Learn more about the PA State Police online at www.psp.state.pa.us.
Media contacts: Maria A. Finn or Sgt. Anthony Manetta, 717-783-5556.
SOURCE Pennsylvania State Police