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New DNA Technology Leads to Arrest in Decades-Old Murder and Assault Case

Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth
Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth case. (Photo: PEOPLE)

After more than four decades of searching for the culprit, police have finally arrested a suspect in connection with the oldest cold case in Miramar.

Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth

Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth case. (Photo: PEOPLE)

Suspect of Oldest Cold Case in Miramar

Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth was sexually assaulted and killed in her mobile home when she was 32 years old. Ronald Eugene Richards, who lived in the same mobile home community as Fisher-Bamforth, was arrested on first-degree murder and sexual battery charges after being indicted by a grand jury in December. The 75-year-old was already in custody in Ohio when he was extradited to South Florida.

Miramar homicide detective Jonathan Zeller said that Richards was already a suspect in the 1980 murder but there wasn’t enough evidence at the time to make an arrest. Detectives identified Richards as a suspect in the 1980s when investigators from Volusia County contacted them about him being a suspect in a brutal rape and attempted murder.

When questioned by Miramar detectives, Richards denied knowing Fisher-Bamforth or ever visiting her. He was ultimately convicted of the 1981 Volusia County attempted murder and sexual battery, according to a report published in Yahoo News.

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New DNA Technology Helped to Solve the Case

Richards was housed in a Florida prison until 2020, when he was transferred to Ohio, where he had been sentenced in 1975 for manslaughter. At the time of Fisher-Bamforth’s murder, he was on parole for the Ohio charge. However, new DNA technology in 2021 helped crack the cold case and link Richards to the crime.

In a published article in MIAMI HERALD, Miramar homicide detective Jonathan Zeller stated that the case’s advancement shows that there is no more hiding from DNA technology. He also added that no matter how much time passes, Fisher-Bamforth’s case will not be forgotten.

Her widower John Bamforth, 77, recounted his life with Fisher-Bamforth, whom he called Ev or Evie. The couple met at a bar in Canada near a hospital where Fisher-Bamforth worked. They moved to the Cayman Islands and then to South Florida. Bamforth told reporters how his wife’s death changed the way he viewed life, and he was no longer the trusting person he once was.

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