Nathan Burkett was arrested as the suspect in two homicides - one in 1978 and another in 1994. (LVMPD/YouTube)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Las Vegas Metro police Tuesday announced a man suspected in two homicides, the first of which dates to the 1970s, has been captured.
Nathan Burkett, 65, was arrested in connection with the deaths of two women; one in 1978 and the other in 1994.
Metro Homicide Lt. Ray Steiber said detectives determined Burkett as the suspect in the homicides through DNA evidence and common traits in the incidents.
In fact, Steiber said the homicides were considered cold cases before a grant made DNA testing possible in the deaths of Barbara Ann Cox in April of 1978 and Tina Mitchell in February of 1994.
"He's an animal," Steiber said.
Burkett was recently arrested in Mississippi and subsequently transported to Las Vegas on Monday night, Metro said.
Steiber also revealed the victims were strangled and their bodies dumped. Detectives are looking into whether Burkett was behind other unsolved homicides, Metro said.
Steiber is confident that Burkett is the killer.
"(We) crossed every 't' - dotted every 'i', and we are confident that Mr. Nathan Burkett is, in fact responsible for those two murders," he said in a news conference Tuesday.
Metro police started re-examining more than 200 of the 1,015 unsolved murders in the Las Vegas valley three years ago. The department received a federal grant of nearly $500,000 to do so. Twenty cases have been solved since then.
"Without the advent of modern technology, and the uses of that as an extra tool towards our investigations, those cases might not have ever been solved," Steiber said.
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