A 75-year-old Pennsylvanian was arrested for the 1969 rape and murder of a young mother in Southern California, authorities said Tuesday.
John Sipos was taken into custody Saturday at his home in Schnecksville, near Allentown, the San Diego Police Department said.
DNA evidence and forensic genealogy led to the arrest in connection with the death of Mary Scott, who was found strangled in her apartment in the City Heights area of San Diego on Nov. 20, 1969, police said.
Authorities said the killer kicked in the door and fought with Scott. Furniture was overturned and neighbors heard screams, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Sipos is awaiting extradition to San Diego. His attorney, John Waldron, told the newspaper that his client will remain under quarantine because of Lehigh County jail COVID-19 precautions. Waldron said Sipos has diabetes and has had three prior heart attacks.
Scott's sister, Rosalie Sanz, 67, told the Union-Tribune that she was “beyond thrilled" by news of the arrest.
Sanz said she was told that Sipos had recently gotten out of the Navy and was living in San Diego when Scott was killed.
“This guy got to live 51 years free and easy,” Sanz said, “And she got those 51 years taken from her.”
“Everyone loved her,” Sanz said. “She was very sweet and big-hearted and kind of naive for the world she was living in.”
Scott, who was separated, left two young girls, who were living with her husband's family at the time of her death.