Las Vegas man is charged in 42-year-old cold case murder of mother-of-one


Las Vegas man is charged in 42-year-old cold case murder of mother-of-one after police matched his DNA with victim’s fingernail scrapings

  • Paul Nuttall, 64, was arrested on Thursday for the 1980 murder of Sandra DiFelice, a young mother who was only 25 years old at the time of her death
  • He was charged with open murder, the use of a deadly weapon, sexual assault and burglary after police matched his DNA with the victim’s fingernail scrapings
  • The young victim was sexually assaulted before she was allegedly killed by Nuttal on December 26, 1980
  • The case was reopened in February 2021 when Las Vegas detectives reviewed then resubmitted evidence for DNA tests using updated technology
  • New evidence included the suspect’s fingerprint that had matched a sample collected from a drinking glass found in DeFelice’s living room, KLAS reported

A Las Vegas grifter who had been on the lam for more than 40 years has been charged in the cold case murder of a mother of one after DNA was found underneath the victim’s fingernails.

Paul Nuttall, 64, was arrested on Thursday for the 1980 cold-blooded murder of Sandra DiFelice, a young mother who was only 25 years old at the time of her death.

The young victim was raped and beaten before she was killed by Nuttall on December 26, 1980. The victim’s roommate had known the 21-year-old suspect.

In late October, Nuttall was charged with open murder with the use of a deadly weapon, sexual assault with a deadly weapon, and burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, officials said.

On Monday, detectives from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department made the stunning announcement in the 42-year-old cold case.

Nuttall is currently being held without bond at the Clark County Detention Center, authorities said. His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

LVMPD Lt. Jason Johansson was elated to share the news during a Monday press conference.

‘My cold case investigators had the pleasure of making the one phone call that every cold case detective wants to make — and that was the call specifically to Sandra DiFelice’s daughter,’ Johansson said, the news outlet reported.

Sandra DeFelice, 25, was sexually assaulted before she was killed December 26, 1980, allegedly by Paul Nuttall, who was 21 years old at the time

Paul Nuttal was on the lam for more than 40 years after killing the young mother December 26, 1980. Las Vegas police made the stunning announcement of the suspects arrest on Thursday

Paul Nuttal was on the lam for more than 40 years after killing the young mother December 26, 1980. Las Vegas police made the stunning announcement of the suspects arrest on Thursday

DeFelice looking adorable at her three-year-old child in an undated photo

DeFelice looking adorable at her three-year-old child in an undated photo

At the time of the murder, detectives collected numerous items of evidence of the scene and developed a person of interest but the case went cold.

In February 2021, the four-decades-old case was reopened by detectives in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Cold Case Section. The team reviewed and then resubmitted additional evidence for testing using DNA technology.

Some of the new evidence collected was a DNA sample taken from Nuttal in 2021, a fingerprint that matched a sample collected from a drinking glass found in DeFelice’s living room, according to CBS affiliate KLAS, which reviewed documents related to the case.

On October 27, Nuttall was taken into custody by the Criminal Apprehension Team, a multi-jurisdictional task force led by the FBI and staffed in the LMVPD’s Major Violations Bureau. The team is compromised of the FBI, LVMPD, Henderson, and North Las Vegas Police Departments.

The social media posting put out by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department providing photos and information on the decades old cold-case

The social media posting put out by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department providing photos and information on the decades old cold-case

Before the brutal murder, DiFelice had been living with a female roommate near Bonanza Road and Maryland Parkway not far from downtown Las Vegas.

Police said DiFelice’s roommate told them she knew the suspect, and later told them that Nutall had been lurking outside of their home on the day DiFelice was murdered, KLAS News reported.

According to a report, the roommate said that ‘Nuttal asked if he could sleep in the house, as he had nowhere else to go.’

She told Nuttall that she could not allow that because [DiFelice] was in the house and didn’t know him well,’ the news outlet reported.

Around 9.30pm on December 26, police responded to a call of a dead body that was discovered inside an east Las Vegas home.

When the authorities arrived, they found DiFelice. The young woman was dead and evidence at the scene indicated that she had been raped and beaten.

Her three-year-old child was not home at the time of the killing, the news outlet reported.

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