In a 1986 cold case, the victim had moved to San Diego to start a new life just two weeks before he was found stabbed to death in a Lemon Grove field, his sister told NBC 7.
Authorities found the body of Cyrus Jefferson in the early morning of Oct. 11, 1986, on the 2500 block of 69th Street in Lemon Grove, according to the San Diego Sheriff's Department (SDSO).
"He wanted to start a new life. He said, 'I am going to go there. I might be a chef,"' said Jefferson's sister, Sidra.
Thirty-one years later, the suspect, 52-year-old Stacy Littleton, was charged with a single count of murder in Jefferson's death.
During the initial investigation, Littleton was arrested on a murder charge but was later released, according to SDSO.
For more than three decades, the case went unsolved.
“This person has been roaming the streets all these years. He started his own family, living his life," Sidra said.
Sidra told NBC 7 that back then, Littleton and her brother had been making plans to share an apartment.
SDSO Lieutenant Ken Nelson called Sidra Jefferson with news of the arrest.
"There are people out there on both sides who believed nothing was ever going to happen,” Nelson said.
Nelson told NBC 7 that the breakthrough in the case came when a cold case detective re-tested a glove that was sitting as evidence for decades using advanced DNA technology.
“They were able to find two profiles on that glove and those profiles belonged to our victim, Mr. Jefferson, and our suspect, Mr. Littleton,” Nelson said.
Littleton has already been serving time at San Diego County Central Jail for drug and drug paraphernalia possession -- he is now charged with one count of murder.
Sidra remembered her brother was someone who was always nice to everyone, even strangers.
"It never left me, because he was a good person,” Sidra said.
Sidra used to live in Oceanside, but she now lives in Houston, Texas. The rest of the family lives in Louisiana.
But when the case goes to trial, those who can will come to San Diego to see justice happen, Sidra said.