An 80-year-old Alabama man was arrested this week for the cold case killing of his parents nearly 50 years ago in Tennessee, authorities said.
Michael Keith Fine was taken into police custody Tuesday in Birmingham, Alabama, on two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the 1977 deaths of his parents, Helen D. Fine and Maynard H. Fine, the Maryville Police Department in Tennessee said. He is awaiting extradition to Tennessee.
The body of Helen Fine, 54, was discovered inside a car by a telephone repairman outside the couple’s Maryville home on May 20, 1977, Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp said Wednesday. When police officers arrived at the scene, they found the body of 67-year-old Maynard Fine inside the home.
IN SUSPECT ARRESTED 41 YEARS LATER IN CONNECTION TO COLD CASE MURDER
Both victims died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to an autopsy. Michael Fine, who was 34 at the time of the murders, became a person of interest, but the investigation into the slayings eventually went cold, Crisp said.
The case reopened in 2021 after family members asked authorities for an update.
Investigators were able to link Michael Fine to the murder weapon, which was recovered in a landfill a year after the killings, as well as entry points to the home.
“We were able to obtain some additional forensic information from some technology that exists today that didn’t exist then,” Crisp said.
Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond said police were also looking for a woman who lived with the married couple in 1977 when she was a teenager. They have never been able to locate her, he said.
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“We have never been able to locate or identify that individual, and we have reason to believe that individual may have very relevant evidence related to this homicide,” he said.
He added that she is not considered a suspect.
Authorities did not disclose a motive for the killings. The case was Maryville Police Department’s oldest case, Crisp said.