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Boston Man Charged In Long-Unsolved Slaying Of Tufts Grad

BOSTON (AP/CBS) — Prosecutors say a Boston man has been charged in the long-unsolved killing of a 21-year-old Philadelphia woman who was found dead in her Boston apartment more than two decades ago.

Lena Bruce graduated with honors from Tufts University in May 1992 and was the only black woman in her class to receive a degree in electrical engineering. Two months later, her roommate found her body in their South End apartment.

On Thursday, 42-year-old James Witkowski was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in Bruce's death.

"At the time of her murder, he had only a minor record of larceny related offenses and there was nothing to link him to the crime or the crime scene," Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said.

Conley said investigators were able to solve the case after Witkowski was ordered to submit a DNA sample in an unrelated criminal case. His DNA matched evidence from the crime scene.

"Inside that wallet, was one slip of paper and it was tested," Conley said. "It revealed one fingerprint that the BPD Latent Unit extracted and it matched to James Witkowski's left thumb."

Conley said Witkowski and Bruce did not know each other.

Lena Bruce's parents passed away before learning of an arrest, but the 21-year-old's legacy lives on each year through a college scholarship in her name.

"We never forget," said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. "It might take us some time."

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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