Frances Marie Waites had been stabbed in her bedroom, before running through the kitchen to lock herself in a back room.
But her killer had followed, smashing his way through to reach her,
By the time her friend arrived at her Portland, OR home to pick her up for work the next morning, she'd been sexually assaulted and stabbed numerous times.
Her arms and hands had been cut in what police call defensive wounds — signs that she'd fought for her life — and her throat had been slit almost to the bone.
It was a vicious killing and detectives hit the case hard her killer managed to evade justice for 27-years, until this week when Frederick Alvin Richey agreed to plead for the murder.
At the time they'd gathered evidence, hair found on her body and bodily fluid samples.
They even interviewed Richey after Waites' friend reported seeing a man he didn't know near the house the morning she died and picked him out of a series of mugshots, but he denied ever knowing her.
Eight months later, he was convicted of manslaughter in connection with the strangulation of a woman in her Northeast Portland home.
A man later told detectives that he'd met Richey in jail and he'd confessed to murdering her in anger after she reneged on a cocaine deal.
Even then, the case languished and was forgotten.
Then in 2008, a retired Portland detective working with the Cold Case Unit started looking into the matter.
By then, advances had been made in DNA technology and he learned that evidence from the Waites case had been properly preserved.
In September 2009, the Oregon State Police crime lab ran DNA from the bodily fluids in the case through a database and Richey was a match.
He was arrested in July 2010.
Wednesday afternoon, the district attorney told the judge that the DNA match was one in a billion. Richey was their man.
Faced with the overwhelming evidence and the possibility of 20-years in jail if he went to trial or plead no contest to murder and hope for less time when he is sentenced in October.
He took the deal.