Man arrested in Colorado Springs suspected of murder, sexual assault and kidnapping

By Tony Keith

MESA, Ariz. (KKTV) - A man taken into custody by authorities in Colorado Springs is suspected of several heinous crimes in connection with a cold case that is more than 30 years old.

On Tuesday, police in Mesa, Arizona, shared some details on how DNA evidence linked 58-year-old Thomas Cox to the murder of one woman and the sexual assault of a second.

According to police, investigators believe Cox sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman on Oct. 16, 1989 in her apartment and then killed her. The investigation revealed the 22-year-old woman’s cause of death was asphyxiation. About one year later, authorities believe Cox broken into a home at the same apartment complex and sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman. The 23-year-old woman survived.

The case went cold for about three decades.

“A Mesa Police cold case follow-up investigation, a family line was developed using advanced DNA technologies and Thomas Cox was identified,” part of a news release from the Mesa Police Department reads. “Cox was not a previously identified lead in either case, but his mother had lived next to the victim in the 1989 homicide. After identifying Cox, a fingerprint comparison was conducted between a previous misdemeanor case he was arrested for and the prints from the crime scenes. A match was made during the fingerprint comparisons.”

The FBI helped obtain Cox’s DNA and it matched both crime scene DNA profiles.

11 News partner KTVK/KPHO is tracking this story. According to KTVT, Cox is being held on a $1 million bond after he was extradited from Colorado Springs to Arizona. Cox is suspected of first-degree murder, nine counts of sexual assault, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of burglary, one count of aggravated assault and one count of sexual abuse.

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