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.
Information from: Herald-Journal, http://www.goupstate.com/
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