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Suspect arrested in 1986 cold case murder

Posted: 2:14 PM, Nov 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-20 14:15:34-05

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — Investigators have arrested a man in the 1986 murder of a Bangor woman.

Prosecutors say Robert Waite will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon on a charge of open murder in the death of Wilda Wilkinson.

Wilkinson’s daughter found her strangled to death in her home in Bangor.

Charges were sought against Waite after new DNA evidence was obtained. Investigators say Waite was one of the initial suspects in the murder and had always been a person of interest.

After getting the new evidence, Michigan State Police detectives went to Florida to interview him, where they say he fully confessed to the crime and ruled out other suspects.

Authorities had previously charged a California man in Wilkinson’s death after a DNA analysis, but eventually dismissed the charge “based on new information” and “to allow for further investigation.”