1983 cold case murder committed by same person as 1979 killing, police say

Local News

Diana Hanson (Photo: LVMPD)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Las Vegas Metro Police have announced solving another cold case murder.

The case involves the murder of 22-year-old Diana Hanson in 1983. Police have now identified Johnny Blake Peterson as the person who killed Hanson.

Johnny Blake Peterson (Photo: LVMPD)

Police say the case was solved with the help of Texas-based forensic sequencing laboratory Othram Inc.

Peterson is the same man police recently identified who kidnapped, raped and killed 16-year-old Kim Bryant in January 1979.

It was after the discovery of Bryant’s killer that detectives became aware of a connection to Hanson’s murder and compared the suspect DNA which came back as a match.

According to Metro, Hanson went missing on December 31, 1983 when she failed to return home.

Her body was found the same day on West Spring Mountain Road near the large quarries about 1 1/2 miles west of Buffalo.

DNA that was collected at the time of her death was used to solve this case according to police. The autopsy showed she had been sexually assaulted.

“This case is another example of the lengths detectives will go to in order to bring justice and closure to the families of murdered victims,” said Lt. Raymond Spencer in a video statement released Monday. “The LVMPD Homicide Section will continue investigating all unsolved murders in an effort to identify the person’s responsible and hold them accountable.”

Johnny Blake Peterson died in January 1993, so no arrest will be made in this case.

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