cold case

Alabama Man Arrested in Woman's 1980 Boston Killing, Rape, Police Say

Steven Fike was expected to appear in Suffolk Superior Court to face murder and rape charges in the killing of Wendy Dansereau, whose body was found at the Hotel Diplomat

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NBC10 Boston

Police investigating a 42-year-old cold case in Boston have announced the arrest of a man from Alabama on murder and rape charges in the death of 19-year-old Wendy Dansereau.

Steven Fike, 62, was arrested Wednesday by detectives, Boston police said Thursday. The killing had been under investigation by the department's Homicide Unsolved Murder Squad, and Fike was indicted in 2019.

Fike appeared in Suffolk Superior Court to face the charges after being extradited from Alabama and was ordered held without bail, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said. He's next due in court Sept. 13, with a trial date set for Dec. 5.

Fike had been behind bars in Alabama for a 1982 rape and murder but was eligible for parole, prosecutors said.

"Ms. Dansereau was 19 years old when she was murdered, and her family has waited nearly four decades to know what happened to her," Rachael Rollins, then the Suffolk County district attorney, said in a statement at the time of Fike's indictment.

Dansereau had a 4-month-old daughter when she was killed, prosecutors have said. An employee of the Hotel Diplomat in Boston's South End discovered Dansereau's body. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

Dansereau, a sex worker, allegedly met Fike the night before she was found dead with a red blouse wrapped around her neck. When they checked into the hotel, Fike used a fake name, prosecutors said.

Fike was identified as Dansereau's killer with a sample of DNA collected during the early stages of the investigation that was entered into an FBI database and matched to his genetic profile, prosecutors said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NBC/The Associated Press
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