DNA evidence helps police solve 24-year-old cold case homicide

Posted at 12:52 PM, May 02, 2014

An inmate serving time at the Utah State Prison for homicide faces a new homicide charge for a murder that occurred over 24 years ago, a statement from the Unified Police Department said.

On October 22, 1989, family members of 71-year-old Flora Rundle found her body at her South Salt Lake home. Police said an autopsy revealed Rundle had been murdered through multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma, the statement said.

Detectives conducted a thorough investigation at the time, but were not able to identify a suspect in Rundle’s murder.

Last year, detectives from the Unified Police Department took advantage of a grant from the National Institute of Justice to reopen the case.  Investigators found there was a struggle that took place during Rundle’s murder and there was apparently money missing from her home.

In January, the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services submittted DNA evidence collected from Rundle’s body to the Utah Combined DNA Index System.

The DNA evidence allegedly matches the DNA profile of 56-year-old Gary Dean Hilfiker, who police said was a taxi driver who provided transportation services for Rundle on multiple occasions.

The case was presented to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, who found that there was probable cause to charge Hilfiker with criminal homicide, the statement said.