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Man Charged in Connection With 1974 Killing

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OTTUMWA, Iowa Police say they have charged a Des Moines man in connection with the 1974 killing of a 17-year-old girl in rural Wapello County.

The Department of Criminal Investigation announced Tuesday night that Robert Pilcher, 66, was charged in connection with the killing of Mary Jayne Jones, of Ottumwa.

Wapello County sheriff's deputies and DCI agents arrested Pilcher at a Des Moines motel.

Jones' body was discovered April 9, 1974, in a farmhouse owned by Pilcher's cousin who was out of town at the time, police said.

She had been shot to death and sexually assaulted.

Investigators said Pilcher had access to his cousin's vehicle and access to the farmhouse during the time period in which Jones was killed.

Thanks to funding by a federal grant from 2009 to 2011, the DCI took another look and linked Pilcher to the case through DNA evidence.

Pilcher was held in the Wapello County Jail on $1 million bond.

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