Persistence leads to solving 1979 case of teen’s slaying

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The persistence of a detective and the sister of a teen girl killed almost 40 years ago led to solving the crime.

Marion County prosecutor Paige Clarkson says DNA and other evidence shows a convicted rapist named Gerald Dunlap killed 18-year-old Janie Landers in 1979.

Clarkson says Dunlap died in prison in 2002. Oregon State Police reopened the cold case in 2015 at the request of the victim’s sister.

Dunlap’s death deprives Landers’ family of seeing him brought to justice for Janie’s murder.

For her sister Joyce Hooper, what matters is Dunlap died in prison and wasn’t out hurting anyone else. She says she will be forever grateful for Detective Steve Hinkle’s persistence.