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Thirty-six years ago, David Malcom was working at a New York Red Cross shelter when a teenage girl walked in.
The girl was looking to move away from her boyfriend after a domestic incident, the Ithaca Police Department said in a May 26 news release.
The next day, on Feb. 12, 1987, 26-year-old Malcom was found dead in the Ithaca shelter, and despite years of investigation, his killing was never solved, police said.
Now, with the help of DNA technology, the suspect has been identified as the teen girl’s estranged boyfriend, police said.
On that February day in 1987, Malcom refused to tell the girl’s estranged boyfriend her location, police said.
“Mr. Malcom’s heroic actions for not disclosing the whereabouts of the young teen sadly cost him his life,” police said. “His death caused pain to Mr. Malcom’s Family and friends due to his tragic death and for not knowing why he was killed and by whom.”
At the time of his death, Malcom’s a friend told The Post-Standard that it was his “gentleness” that “made him very special,” Syracuse.com reported.
“He was the best of what young people can be,” the friend said, according to the outlet. “He was a wonderful role model for kids … He was really wise beyond his years.”
The case was investigated over the years until 2010, according to police.
Then in 2015, police said they began to “heavily” investigate the case along with a number of agencies.
“Advances in forensic science” and additional investigation led police to identify the teen’s boyfriend as a suspect, police said.
The suspect, whose name was not released, died in 2019, according to police.
Ithaca is about 50 miles southwest of Syracuse.
If you are experiencing domestic violence and need someone to talk to, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for support at 1-800-799-7233 or text “START” to 88788.
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