SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Authorities say DNA has helped them determine the man who killed a neighbor in South Carolina 32 years ago is now dead himself.
Spartanburg Sheriff Chuck Wright says 44-year-old James Larry Smith was attacked and beaten with a hammer in his home in December 1987 and remained in a coma until he died four months later.
Wright told the Herald-Journal of Spartanburg that DNA from the crime scene was recently linked to Smith's neighbor, Roger Switzer. The sheriff says Switzer died of a heart attack in 2008.
Wright says Switzer's death means investigators may never know why he allegedly beat Smith with a hammer.
The sheriff told the newspaper he will release more details at a news conference in a few days.
Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com
- 2 people dead after shooting at nightclub in Lancaster, officials say
- ‘Stone merchandise' falls on customer at Charlotte business, killing him
- Community rallies in support of high school cheerleaders holding MAGA banner
- 'We will never forgive him': UNCC shooting suspect pleads guilty to killing 2, injuring 4
- ‘Take care of it': NC sheriff accused of plotting murder of deputy over tape of racist comments
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.