OKLAHOMA CITY – Charges have finally been filed in a 28-year-old cold case.
The Oklahoma Impact team has been following this case for months.
On Wednesday, OSBI's director said it all comes down to money. Thanks to a federal grant, investigators were able to work overtime on the case and find a DNA match they say connects the suspect with the crime.
Back in May of 1983, Ola Kirk, a 77-year-old great-grandmother was raped and murdered in Geary, Oklahoma.
On Tuesday, nearly three decades later, prosecutors charged Lester Blackbear with her murder.
"He came about as a suspect early in the case," said Stan Florence, OSBI's director.
In fact, Florence says the OSBI had DNA evidence that said Blackbear could be the killer but it wasn't conclusive.
"It was not a full match like we were looking for," he said.
This summer, using the federal grant money, agents and criminologists were able to work together to find a better sample and it turned out to be an absolute match.
Blackbear's arrest came one day before he was to be released from state custody.
For Kirk's family it is the answer they have been fighting for years. Now their hope is that other families with open cases may get the same.
Florence says they certainly may.
"We have had some good leads that have come out of those case reviews already," he said.
Florence says thanks to this federal grant money, they have already closed hundreds of other cases.
Blackbear is now in custody in Blaine county where the prosecutor says he is being held on first-degree murder charges