But now more than 22-years on, cops say they have finally made a breakthrough in the vicious killing of Bertha Hemminghaus.
DNA, they claim links Johnny Lee Hilton, now 53 to the 1989 murder which sent shockwaves around the sleepy Kissimmee, FL community.
Sheriff Bob Hansell was stunned to find his killer had actually moved back to the place where he committed his crime.
He said: "It's very ironic that the suspect responsible for this 1989 murder was still living in this neighborhood."
He added: "DNA is a science that continues to improve every day. It's a very painstaking process. It's not like in Hollywood where it's over in an hour. It's a very exact science."
The sheriff said they have no motive and Hilton who has a lengthy criminal history including burglaries, grand thefts and burglary with assault is refusing to cooperate with them.
He is being held at the Osceola County Jail without bond.