Nevada man arrested after son’s DNA links him to 50-year-old murder in Hawaii

·2 min read

A suspect has been arrested in a 50-year-old murder cold case thanks to DNA from the alleged perpetrator’s son.

Tudor Chirila was a 27-year-old grad assistant at the University of Hawaii when he allegedly stabbed 19-year-old Nancy Elaine Anderson to death on 7 January 1972, local TV station Hawaii News Now reported.

She was found with several stab wounds by her roommate, who was sleeping in their Waikiki apartment at the time of the killing.

In 2020, Honolulu Police Department (HPD) partnered with a Virginia-based lab to create a profile with DNA retrieved from the scene. The next year they received a tip about Mr Chirila, now 77, but were unable to test his DNA.

A breakthrough in the investigation came earlier this year when Mr Chirila’s son, who lives in California, agreed to provide his DNA. After obtaining a partial match — which suggested the DNA belonged to a relative — the department was able to obtain a warrant to obtain Mr Chirila’s DNA.

Mr Chirila, who now lives in Nevada, was arrested in Reno and is waiting for extradition to Hawaii, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Nancy Elaine Anderson was stabbed to death in 1972 (HPD)
Nancy Elaine Anderson was stabbed to death in 1972 (HPD)
Her body was found by her roomate inside their Waikiki apartment (HPD)
Her body was found by her roomate inside their Waikiki apartment (HPD)

HPD had exhausted investigative efforts before asking Parabon NanoLabs to create a prediction of the suspect’s physical appearance at the time of the crime.

According to the rendering, the suspect was of southern and southeastern European heritage, brown or hazel eyes and brown or black hair.

Anderson, who had moved to Hawaii from Michigan, had at least five stab wounds in her neck, chest, and abdomen, according to the Advertiser.

HPD had exhausted investigative efforts before asking Parabon NanoLabs to create a prediction of the suspect’s physical appearance at the time of the crime. (HPD)
HPD had exhausted investigative efforts before asking Parabon NanoLabs to create a prediction of the suspect’s physical appearance at the time of the crime. (HPD)

Her roommate told police she was taking a nap before she found the body. She said she had seen Anderson with two male salesmen hours before.

Although the department was initially unable to test Mr Chirila’s DNA, their son agreed to provide his. A search warrant was obtained for Mr Chirila’s DNA on 1 September, and a positive match came back eleven days later.

He was arrested on second-degree murder charges on Tuesday.