ST. HELENS, Ore. -- A 49-year-old St. Helens man has been charged with the murder of a 17-year-old girl in Aloha 30 years ago, police said.
The body of Lori Billingsley was found October 10, 1982, in a drainage ditch on Southwest Miller Hill Road, said Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Investigators said Billingsley was sexually assaulted before she was murdered.
At the time, then-19-year-old Kenneth Lee Hicks was a person of interest, but because DNA testing did not exist, there was not enough evidence to convict him, Ray said.
A detective assigned to working cold cases served a search warrant in 2010 to collect a DNA sample from Hicks, which matched the DNA profile from Billingsley's murder.
I'm thankful, happy, scared nervous all at the same time, said Vickie Billingsley, the victim's sister. I'm hoping the suspect does the right thing and this won't be a long process.
On Tuesday, a Washington County grand jury indicted Hicks on two counts of aggravated murder. He was arrested and jailed on the charges Wednesday.
They've ruined my life, said Billie Hicks, the suspect's wife. I want them to know he's not a vicious person.