DUNBAR, Pa. -- Cold case investigators in western Pennsylvania have arrested a childhood friend in the 1974 death of a boy killed while running a bike errand for his mother.
Police believe then-17-year-old Joseph Leos shot 14-year-old John David Watson Jr. in Dunbar Township, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
A police affidavit says Watson had biked to a motel to buy cigarettes for his mother May 2, 1974, but never made it home that night. His body was found on a neighbor's lawn the next day. He had suffered a gunshot wound to the back of the head, reports CBS Pittsburgh.
State police say a coat taken from the suspect after the shooting was sent for testing in 2009 and found to have gunpowder residue on it.
The 57-year-old Leos, of Mount Pleasant, was charged Wednesday with criminal homicide. It's not immediately clear if he has a lawyer.
"I really can't describe how to feel. It's just more heartbreaking because my mom and grandmother didn't get to see justice. They went to their grave with broken hearts," Erica Saunders, Watson's niece, told CBS Pittsburgh.
Saunders said Leos was a good friend who grew up with Watson.
"What's more devastating is a lot of the public doesn't know, is that gentleman resided with us for years after the murder," Saunders told the station.
Watson would be 54 today if he were still alive.