The death of a man in North Carolina in 2003 has closed the 30-year-old case of a Sarasota woman who died as a result of a beating by her boyfriend.
In 1985, Allen Schultz severely beat and stomped on the neck of his girlfriend, Doris Walker, leaving her a paraplegic, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. He was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery, but was released on his own recognizance. He was never found.
Walked died in 2004 from medical complications that would have elevated the charge to homicide.
Several law enforcement agencies initiated a global search for Schultz. The sheriff's office released age progression photos in 2014 that got national media attention.
Investigators then learned a man named Allen Sherwood had been arrested in 1988 in Collier County. His birth date and Social Security number were similar to that of Schultz. A comparison of booking photos confirmed they were the same person, the sheriff's office said.
Sherwood was tracked to to Henderson, N.C., where death records confirmed he died from cancer in 2003. His body was cremated. Latent print examiners compared fingerprints from Schultz's 1985 arrest and Sherwood's arrest in 1988, and the prints matched.
The Sarasota sheriff then reopened Walker's case and closed it with the death of Schultz.
"This is a huge break in a case that's been lingering for more than 30 years," said Sheriff Tom Knight. "The investigators in this case worked tirelessly to seek resolution and bring closure to Doris Walker's family and today, they've done just that. I am immensely proud of the work that went into this investigation."
(© 2016 WTSP)