Police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate said Michael Allan Halgren, 56, has been arrested at the McNeil Island Special Commitment Center, where he has been held after being found to be a sexually violent predator.
He was charged Wednesday in the April 23, 1980, death of 19 year-old Susan Barbara Lowe.
The spokeswoman said Halgren's DNA was found at the murder scene but all investigative leads were exhausted in the early 1980s. Then Halgren's DNA profile was obtained as part of an updating process in 2012 that included a number of civilly committed sexually violent predators at the special commitment center near Tacoma.
Halgren's criminal history includes a 1989 kidnapping and rape of a woman in Bellevue.
He is being held without bail at the King County Jail.
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