DENVER (CBS4)– A man who pleaded guilty in a sexual homicide cold case in Denver has been sentenced to nearly 50 years in prison.

Hector Bencomo-Hinojos, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree kidnapping in April.

Bencomo-Hinojos was originally charged with first-degree murder and other charges in the death of 32-year old Patricia Beard in 1981. His plea dismissed the first-degree murder counts.

He agreed to be sentenced to 48 years in prison in the deal. His sentencing hearing was on Monday.

“The case, filed in 2013, was marked by being the 100th case filed in the Cold Case Project,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement.

According to the DA’s office, in 1981, Beard lived in a one-room apartment in the 500 block of East 11th Avenue.

After she had not been seen for several days, a family member who went to check on her found her body in her room on March 27, 1981.

The case remained unsolved until a DNA match identified Bencomo-Hinojos as a suspect. At the time, he was in federal custody in Pennsylvania.

Bencomo-Hinojos was extradited to Colorado and charged in 2013.


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