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Man pleads guilty 25 years after teen was assaulted, murdered

Posted at 7:31 PM, Oct 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-03 21:31:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's a case that haunted the Unified Police Department for more than two decades. On Friday, it ended at the Matheson Courthouse.

Thomas Evan Noffsinger, 47, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and strangling 17-year-old Felicia Pappas on April 6, 1989.

“Every day I think about her, what she was like when she was younger--she was a beautiful young lady,” said Carl Pappas, who is Felicia’s father.

Felicia's death was a cold case for 23 years. Her family had no idea who killed her. Then, when police re-examined the case in 2011, they were able to link DNA swabs collected from Felicia’s autopsy to Noffsinger.

“It feels good that justice is finally served,” said Kim Jones, who is a friend of the family.

Since 1990, Noffsinger has been serving a life sentence for another murder. Now he has another life sentence with no chance of parole.

“Please keep him locked up until he dies because that's where he belongs,” Pappas said.

During this investigation, Noffsinger also provided information about a third homicide he said he committed. But since he is already going to spend the rest of his life in prison, prosecutors have decided not to pursue that case.