By Melissa Garcia
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Police have arrested the alleged killer of a young woman from Colorado Springs 30 years after her murder. Officers discovered the body of Mary Lynn Vialpando, 24, in an alleyway behind Colorado Avenue on June 5, 1988.
Officials said Vialpando been sexually assaulted and beaten to death. Three decades later, police arrested James Papol, 46, on a charge of first degree murder.
Papol was just 15-years-old at the time of the murder, police said.
“She was beautiful,” said Cynthia Renkel, Vialpando’s sister.
Renkel said she had never heard of the man accused of killing her sister.
“I was shocked at his age more than anything,” Renkel said.
In the years since the gruesome death, Papol has faced a slew of charges for other crimes, including kidnapping, robbery and harassment.
Were she still alive today, Vialpando would be in her 50’s. Her then-young daughter is now grown up.
Renkel said while the arrest does not erase her pain, it does help to ease it.
“I don’t know what closure feels like. I can’t imagine I will ever have closure, but we will see what happens in the future. I have some relief,” Renkel said.
Papol is behind bars without bond.