GREAT BEND, Kan. — A man from Kansas has been charged in the death of a 23-year-old neighbor and nursing student in 1980.
Officers with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation arrested Steven Hanks, 68, on Thursday for second-degree murder in the death of Mary Robin Walker, according to The Associated Press.
Walker was 23 when she was murdered on January 24, 1980, according to KAKE. Just before 7 p.m., Barton County Sheriff’s Office were called out to Nelson Trailer Park for a report of a homicide. The trailer park is no longer there.
Once investigators arrived at the scene, they found Walter’s body. According to KAKE, she had been shot multiple times. She was married, had a child and was a nursing student at Barton County Community College.
Hanks was Walter’s neighbor at the time of her death, according to KAKE. He was developed as a person of interest but the case went cold.
Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said at a news conference Friday that Detective Sgt. Adam Hales decided to reopen the investigation in April, according to the AP. Two additional officers were directed to join the investigation.
In October, new evidence was found but according to the AP, authorities did not disclose what that evidence was. A possible motive was also not disclosed.
A warrant for Hanks’ arrest was issued several weeks later, according to KAKE. He was arrested on Thursday in Oxford, Kansas and his bond has been set at $500,000.
According to the AP, Hanks had spent time in prison for other crimes. Hanks was arrested and was charged in 1981 for rape, battery, robbery and burglary. He was sentenced in 1983 and was discharged 10 years later, according to online records from the Kansas Department of Corrections obtained by the AP.
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