Mary Jayne Jones

Authorities say they’ve solved a “cold case” murder from 38 years ago in southeast Iowa.

 A suspect was arrested Tuesday night at a motel in Des Moines, accused in the sexual assault and shooting death of 17-year-old Mary Jones of Ottumwa.

Robert Pilcher

Her body was found in a rural Wapello County farmhouse in 1974.

 DCI agents say the suspect is 66-year-old Robert Pilcher, who had been questioned in the case years ago and released.

He’s now in custody after new DNA technology linked him to the crime. The farmhouse where Jones’ body was found was owned by a relative of Pilcher.

He’s being held in the Wapello County Jail on a one-million dollar bond.