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35-year-old cold case murder linked to local man

Posted at 5:30 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 20:54:51-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A cold-case murder shrouded in mystery for decades just led investigators across the country, straight to a San Diego man.

In June of 1984, 15-year-old Reesa Trexler was found naked, raped and stabbed to death in her grandparents' home in Salisbury, outside Charlotte, N.C.

For more than 35 years there were few answers. Last year, Trexler's younger sister, Jodie Laird, appeared on the Dr. Phil show to quash long-held speculation that she was the killer. On the show, she took and passed a polygraph test.

RELATED: 40-year-old San Diego cold case solved with help of genealogical database

This week, an emotional scene unfolded for her and other family as Salisbury police announced the case was solved. The big break was DNA evidence uploaded to a public genealogy website, which pointed to a suspect.

According to search warrants obtained by WBTV, the suspect was Curtis Edward Blair, who was still living in San Diego when he died of heart failure in 2004.

His body was exhumed from his grave in North Carolina for DNA samples, before police closed the case. Police say he was working at a Frito Lay plant near the home and had no connection to the family.

RELATED: Suspect in 1986 Escondido cold case homicide arrested

“Thirty-five years is a long time and we’re just as happy as we could possibly be," Laird said. “I know that we’ll never get all of the answers that we want, but at least we have the answers that we need.”

10news uncovered some answers about his criminal resume during his time in San Diego. Records show he moved to the area two years after the murder. The 43-year-old was arrested and charged in 1986, accused of robbing two men, one at knife point. According to court documents, he pleaded guilty and received a 3-year sentence.