An arrest was made in connection with the murder of a young woman over half a century ago.
Nancy Anderson was only 19 when she moved from Michigan to Waikiki, Hawaii, in late 1971 to pursue her dream of living on the islands.
But just two months after moving in, on January 7, 1972, Anderson’s roommate found her stabbed to death in her apartment, shortening her life.
For fifty years the case remained cold.
That was until DNA technology, genetic genealogy and detective work led to the arrest of a suspect, Tudor Chirila Jr., 77, a former assistant attorney general.
Chirila was arrested by Reno, Nevada police on a warrant from the Honolulu Police Department and was charged with second-degree murder, according to the warrant.
In the 1970s, Chirila lived in Honolulu while working as a research assistant at the University of Hawaii, which was near Anderson’s home.
According to Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Anderson moved to Waikiki in the fall of 1971 to enjoy island life before going to college.
She worked at a local McDonald’s and lived in an apartment with her roommate, Jody Spooner.
On Jan. 7, Spooner told police she got home and found Anderson at the apartment with two silverware sellers around 2:30 p.m.
The men left about 10 minutes later and Spooner went to her bedroom to take a nap, waking up hours later at 5:15 p.m. to hearing water running in Anderson’s room.
Believing Anderson had already gone to work, Spooner opened the bedroom door to find the teenager dead on the floor.
Spooner initially believed Anderson had ended her own life and ran to a neighboring apartment and called the police.
Police later learned that, according to the warrant, Anderson was stabbed over 60 times and died of a stab wound to the heart.
Anderson’s grieving family has longed for an answer to her shocking death for decades while police sought answers.
“She was an integral part of our family and when she was killed it left a hole in our hearts and in our family,” Anderson’s brother Jack told Hawaii News Now.
As recently as December 2021, Honolulu police received a tip linking Chirila to Anderson’s murder.
DNA found on a blood-stained towel in the home was tested by police, who also enlisted the help of a DNA technology company, Paragon Nanolabs of Virginia.
“One of the services used in this case was DNA phenotyping, which uses unidentified DNA evidence to predict physical appearance and parentage,” the Honolulu Police Department said in a statement.
Police were able to obtain DNA from Chirila’s son, who lives in California, and arrested Chirila after receiving a warrant to collect his DNA.
According to the search warrant, the sample allegedly matched the blood found on the towel.
Chirila remains in custody in Nevada and has not yet entered a plea bargain.
Court documents say Chirila attempted to end his life after police collected the sample, but he is expected to survive and appear in court sometime this week.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6234583/cold-case-arrest-nancy-anderson-murder/ Brutal stabbing death of Nancy Anderson, 19, as DNA leads to arrest of former Nevada Attorney General 50 years later