[Man sentenced to 48 years for murder, kidnapping in 1981 Denver case solved with DNA match

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DENVER — Denver's district attorney says a man has been sentenced to 48 years in prison after a DNA match led to the solving of a 1981 case.

In a press release Tuesday, the DA's office said 55-year-old Hector Bencomo-Hinojos was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in April to second-degree murder and second-degree kidnapping in the death of 32-year Patricia Beard.

Beard had been found dead in her Denver apartment 34 years ago. The case had gone cold until a DNA match identified Bencomo-Hinojos as a suspect in 2013. Bencomo-Hinojos, then in federal custody in Pennsylvania on unrelated charges, was extradited to Colorado in the 100th DNA cold case filed in Denver.

Denver's Cold Case DNA Project is funded by the National Institute of Justice.

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