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Brazos County Sheriff announces suspect in decades-old murder of Virginia Freeman

Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk announced that James Otto Earhart was the prime suspect. He was a resident in Brazos County at the time of the murder.

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas --

Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk announced that James Otto Earhart was the prime suspect in the 1981 murder of local realtor Virginia Freeman. He was a resident of Brazos County at the time of the murder.

Earhart was executed in 1999 for another crime, the kidnapping and murder of 9-year-old Kandy Kirtland in 1987.

Sheriff Kirk says the information comes from DNA that was analyzed for ancestry information. A DNA database found second cousins and great grandparents of the suspect, which is how suspect was identified.

The DNA was then matched to Earhart's son, called a confirmed parent-child match. Sheriff Kirk called this "clear" evidence that Earhart killed Virginia Freeman.

No DNA results were collected from Earhart, which prevents a 100% match.