Investigators to announce ‘significant’ break in decades-old cold case murder

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Middlesex District Attorney's Office(BOSTON) -- Investigators may finally have a break in a cold case murder that has haunted the Boston area for almost 50 years.

The Middlesex District Attorney's Office is slated to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to announce a "significant development" in the unsolved 1969 killing of Jane Britton due to DNA testing.

"Over the past year our office has been in the process of conducting DNA testing on the evidence taken from a 1969 Cambridge homicide," Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a press release Monday. "I am excited to announce a significant development in the case as a result of that testing."

Prosecutors declined to provide more details before the press conference takes place.

Britton, a 23-year-old graduate student studying anthropology at Harvard University, was found dead in her fourth-floor apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the chilly afternoon of Jan. 7, 1969. A boyfriend discovered her body when he came to check on her after she didn't show up for an exam that morning.

Britton, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, had been sexually assaulted and bludgeoned to death, according to Cambridge police records.

The Harvard Crimson, the daily student newspaper of Harvard University, reported that police found "reddish-brown powder" scattered across the walls, ceiling and floor of Britton's apartment, as well as on her body.

Police questioned several people at the time, but investigators never identified a suspect and the case went cold for decades -- until now.

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