John Feit, a former Catholic priest, was arrested Tuesday by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department in Arizona for the 1960 killing of Irene Garza, a 25-year-old Texas schoolteacher and beauty queen.
Garza was last seen alive on April 16, 1960, when she visted Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas, reported NBC News. She had planned to visit Feit, a visiting priest at the time, for a confession that evening but never returned home. Her body was found on April 21 in an irrigation canal.
An autopsy revealed that Garza had been raped while in the coma then died from suffocation.
A murder investigation was setup soon after and Feit was named a suspect in the case. There were various pieces of evidence that made him the likely culprit such as the fact he was, by all accounts, the last person confirmed to have seen Garza alive, and the fact that items belonging to the church, including a candelabra, were found near her body, according CNN.
However, the most damning evidence of all was that 24 days prior to the killing, Feit had been arrested for attacking another woman at a church just 10 miles away. Feit pleaded no content to misdemeanor aggravated assault in that case and a judge found him guilty, fining him $500 with no prison time.
The case grew colder and colder until a grand jury decided to hear the case in 2004 but decided not to indict Feit.
Fast forward to 2016, Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez breathed new life into the case after he presented the case against Feit to a grand jury, according to the Associated Press.
"We felt that we had sufficient evidence to present to a grand jury. It was presented last week, and they came back with a true bill," he said. It's not clear what the new evidence there is, but it was at least significant enough to warrant an arrest.
Feit now is in police custody in Scottsdale, and is awaiting extradition to Texas. The next step, according to the district attorney, is to see whether he will contest his extradition.