A man in Illinois was charged with the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Amber Creek, ABC News reported.
James Eaton, 36, was taken in custody after a fingerprint match in a national database appeared.
After Creek went missing from Palatine, Illinois, her body was discovered in a wildelife preserve in Racine, Wisconsin. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted, and strangled and was left with a plastic bag on her head.
Also found with Creek's body was a bookstore receipt with "Hi" written on the back.
Fingerprints on the plastic bag and DNA on her body led police to Eaton, according to ABC. The Racine County sheriff told the Journal Times investigators have "overwhelming" evidence against him.
"We are elated, absolutely, that someone has been caught in this crime. We've been waiting 17 years. After 17 years, my sister never gave up hope and my mother did not," said Amber's aunt Nora Mowers.
According to authorities, Creek lived a troubled life. She ran away from home on several occasions and was a ward of the state at the time of her death.
"She did not deserve to die in this way. Nobody deserves to die in this way," Mowers added. "I want to know about him. Did he kill other people? Is she the only victim?"
The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services -- which had custody of Creek at the time -- waited five weeks to report her missing, leading to changes in the way the state dealt with missing children cases.
"Since the time that Amber went missing, there have been changes in the statutes that require immediate reporting to law enforcement," said Robert Lowery, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday.