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LAPD Announce Arrest in 1978 Cold Case Murder of Local Businessman

Peartree now (left) and then (Photos courtesy LAPD)
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Score another one for modern technology and crime solving: The Los Angeles Police Department have announced an arrest made for a "cold case" murder that took place on L.A.'s Westside in 1978. Detectives in Delaware, Ohio, took 62-year-old Walter Randolph Peartree into custody at his home earlier this morning on a warrant obtained by the LAPD.Detectives made use of contemporary crime analysis techniques and equipment not available at the time of the crime to link Peartree to the murder of 52-year-old James Gentry, say the LAPD in a release. Gentry, described as a business executive, was stabbed to death in his home, notes L.A. Now. The case was reviewed in 2010, at which time detectives were able to associate Peartree with the crime.

The LAPD explain that Peartree is originally from Virginia, but has been living in different locations in Ohio since the mid-1990s. Now unemployed, Peartree "had worked for carnivals in several states though police did not have details of his employment history," adds L.A. Now.

Peartree's extradition to California is pending, following court appearances in Ohio.