North Carolina man arrested in 1987 murder of 79-year-old woman in California

ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. -- A Robeson County man has been linked to the murder of a woman in California more than 30 years ago, thanks to DNA that was found at the scene.

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The crime happened on May 20, 1987 in San Diego and involved the rape and murder of Grace Hayden, who was 79 years old at the time.

A single fingerprint from the left ring finger was discovered on the victim's kitchen stove, however, a DNA match was never made.

District Attorney Investigator Tony Johnson of the San Diego, California District Attorney's Office resubmitted the fingerprint through the national fingerprint database and received a match to 62-year-old Kevin Thomas Ford, who was believed to be residing in Robeson County.

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Last week, a warrant for arrest was issued by the San Diego District Attorney's Office against Ford for First Degree Murder.

The Robeson County Sheriff's Office executed the search warrant Wednesday, and Ford surrendered without incident.

He was placed in the Robeson County Detention Center pending extradition back to California for trial.

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