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April trial date set for man accused in 1987 rape, murder of San Diego woman

Posted at 5:25 PM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 20:25:38-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An April 30 trial date was set today for a North Carolina man accused of raping and murdering a 79-year-old woman in her Normal Heights home more than 31 years ago.

Kevin Thomas Ford, now 62, was arrested in June and charged with murder and a special circumstance allegation of murder during a rape in connection with the May 20, 1987, death of Grace Hayden.

Investigator Tony Johnson of the San Diego County District Attorney's Office was reviewing the cold case in May when he decided to submit a single fingerprint found on Hayden's stove to a national database.

He found a match: a print submitted by police in connection with Ford's 2015 arrest on charges of communicating threats, authorities said.

The fingerprint allowed San Diego detectives to issue a warrant for Ford's arrest in July.

RELATED: Man pleads not guilty in 1987 rape, murder of San Diego woman

The case is expected to get pre-assigned to a judge next month.