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Union County man arrested in cold case murder of woman in Colorado

Breakthrough in case comes nearly 40 years after 21-year-old was killed

Union County Sheriff's Office booking photo of James Curtis Clanton
Union County Sheriff's Office booking photo of James Curtis Clanton (Union County Sheriff's Office)

UNION COUNTY, Fla. – A man who had been living in Union County for more than a decade was arrested in connection with a nearly 40-year-old Colorado cold case, authorities said.

DNA evidence led to the breakthrough in the Jan. 16, 1980, sexual assault, kidnapping and murder of a 21-year-old woman in Colorado, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, which has been assisting the Douglas County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office in the cold case investigation.

With current DNA technology, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, investigators in Douglas County learned of a possible match of a person living in Lake Butler. Douglas County sent a team of investigators to work with Union County investigators to conduct surveillance and collect evidence to identify the person, the Union County Sheriff’s Office said.

On Wednesday, both agencies arrested James Curtis Clanton, 62, on a fugitive from justice warrant, charging him with homicide, out of Douglas County.

Clanton was booked into the Union County jail and held without bond. He was flown out to Colorado Friday to face the charge.

James Curtis Clanton appears in court in Union County
James Curtis Clanton appears in court in Union County (Union County Sheriff's Office)

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