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    DNA helps solve 1974 murder of 17-year-old Debra Curb in Fresno, California, deputies say

    Authorities then worked to contact the suspect but found out he died in 2022 at the age of 66.

    Friday, June 16, 2023 10:33PM

    DNA helps solve 1974 murder of Fresno teen, deputies say

    FRESNO, Calif. — A nearly 50-year-old cold case in California has finally been solved with the help of DNA evidence, according to authorities.

    On Thursday, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office officially announced that James Blaylock is believed to have raped and murdered 17-year-old Debra Curb inside her Fresno home in 1974.

    Blaylock was initially named a person of interest in the case but authorities back then had no hard evidence to support their theory.

    In 2006, Blaylock’s DNA sample came back as a match from a sexual assault kit that was taken from Debra in 1974.

    Photo of James Blaylock provided by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

    Her body was exhumed later that year and additional DNA was collected to which Blaylock, who was in prison at the time.

    Officials say Blaylock claimed he had consensual sex with Debra but did not kill her.

    In December of 2021, investigators requested DNA from a leotard used to strangle Debra, which matched Blaylock’s sample from the kit in 1974.

    Authorities then worked to contact Blaylock but found out he died in 2022 at the age of 66.

    During his lifetime, Blaylock accumulated a lengthy criminal record, which included violent acts and becoming a registered sex offender.

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