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O.J. Simpson case's lead investigator weighs in on knife find

Last Updated Mar 5, 2016 11:10 AM EST

A surprising new development has literally dug up the O.J. Simpson murder case from 1994.

The Los Angeles police are conducting DNA tests on a knife reportedly found buried on Simpson's property years ago.

Simpson was accused in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, but police never found the knife that prosecutors claim he used to kill them.

Simpson was acquitted in a lengthy public trial.

CBS News' Carter Evans reports that while police are taking the investigation seriously, they caution it could turn out to be another false lead.

"I was really surprised," Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Andrew Neiman said Friday.

The LAPD was stunned when a retired police officer recently turned in a knife that was allegedly found nearly two decades ago by a construction worker during the demolition of O.J. Simpson's estate.

"The off-duty, or retired, officer was working in the area of the Rockingham estate, and he claimed that an individual who claimed to be a construction worker provided him with this knife claiming that it was found on the property, so he held on to it," Neiman said.

That former officer has not been publicly identified, but he's believed to have had the knife for many years before turning it in about a month ago.

Retired LAPD Detective Tom Lange was the lead investigator on the case and says Simpson's property was thoroughly searched.

"It's always a possibility that it was overlooked," said Lange, "but the time that we had and the time that Simpson had this knife, I would be very surprised if we would have missed something like this."

The knife that could have tied Simpson to the murders has never been found. During his trial, Simpson famously tried on a bloody glove discovered at his house. That evidence was dismissed by his attorney, Johnnie Cochran.

"If it doesn't fit, you must acquit," he famously told jurors.

Marcia Clark, who prosecuted Simpson for the stabbing deaths, spoke to "Entertainment Tonight" Friday.

"If it does turn out to be connected to the murders of Ron and Nicole, it would be interesting if there was some evidence on that knife that pointed to who might have helped to bury it, if indeed someone else did," Clark said.

It comes as a cable mini-series recounting the O.J. saga has renewed interest in the case.

"You have to question the timing," said law professor Laurie Levenson. "Right at the time of the miniseries on the O.J. case and all of the sudden they come up with this knife. It's gonna raise some eyebrows."

LAPD investigators said this new knife development could turn out to be "bogus." And even if it's not, according to Carl Douglas, who was part of Simpson's defense team, it will be of little significance to his former client.

"The case is over involving O.J. Simpson," Douglas said. "He can never be prosecuted for those crimes again. So what I would say for anyone who's grasping for straws is please to move on with their life."