ODESSA (AP) — An East Texas man has been arrested in the stabbing death of a West Texas teenage girl 26 years ago.
Thompson Ward Stricklen Jr. is in Ector County Jail in Odessa jailed on murder and sexual assault charges. Bond is set at $350,000. Jail records don't list an attorney for the 52-year-old Jacksonville, Texas, man.
Wendy Burdette was 15 when her body was found in an Odessa field in 1989. She had been raped and her throat was cut.
A Texas Department of Public Safety report matched Burdette's DNA with a sample taken from Stricklen as part of his sex-offender registration.
Odessa police Cpl. Steve LeSueur told the Odessa American that Stricklen was previously a suspect in the stabbing but police had too little evidence to arrest him.