It may have taken almost 43 years, but authorities in Miramar, Florida, have the suspect in their oldest cold case behind bars.
Ironically, he was already there — right under their noses.
In January 1980, Fisher-Bamforth was killed in her trailer in Miramar, a Miami metro-area city.
It’s the oldest cold case solved in #MiramarPD history: Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth was killed Jan. 22, 1980. Nearly 43 years later, we are pleased to announce a grand jury has indicted Ronald E. Richards for sexual battery & murder. We are one step closer to justice for Evelyn. pic.twitter.com/zFbQQljoBQ
— Miramar Police (@MiramarPD) December 1, 2022
Investigators say that Richards climbed through the window of the trailer, raped her, then bludgeoned her to death.
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, Fisher-Bamforth, a registered psychiatric nurse, was sleeping alone in her bed at the time of the attack, recovering from knee surgery.
When a friend who was staying with Fisher-Bamforth and her husband returned to the trailer, she found the doors locked and called police.
“Half of the bed was soaked with blood,” said her husband John Bamforth, who now lives in England, CBS Miami reported.
Richards was initially a suspect in the case for a number of reasons.
Not only did he live 12 doors down from Bamforth in Haven Lakes Estates mobile home park, but police say they helped arrest him in Volusia County for a similar attack.
“They were arresting him for rape and attempted murder, and it was same MO as our case as well,” Detective Jonathan Zeller said.
In addition, he’d just been released from prison for raping and attempting to murder a former girlfriend in Ohio back in 1975.
Richards was found guilty in the Volusia County murder, leading to him being sentenced to 50 years in prison, according to the Daily Mail.
He’s now incarcerated in Ohio for parole violations stemming from his initial conviction there.
Tania Rues, a spokeswoman for the Miramar Police Department, credited the dogged determination of Zeller — who resubmitted a DNA sample originally taken from the crime scene in 1980 — as well as technological advancements, with helping finally make a case against Richards.
“Due to advancements in DNA technology and the diligence and hard work of Detective Johnathan Zeller, Ronald Eugène Richards has been indicted for sexual battery and murder,” she said.
“We are one step closer to obtain justice for Evelyn.”
Her husband was hopeful for the same thing.
“I’m not a vindictive person, but I would certainly like to see justice for Evelyn,” he told CBS Miami, with tears in his eyes.
There’s one thing he’s not hoping for, however.
“I don’t believe in this closure thing,” Bamforth said, speaking to Miramar Police.
“One never has closure. You never have closure, but certainly justice for Evelyn is the most important thing,” he added.
And as for closure, Zeller might not have it, either — at least not when it comes to finding out the full extent of Richards’ crimes.
“I think this is a serial killer,” Zeller said.
If he is, however, this case may put him one step closer to being behind bars for the rest of his life.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.