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Fingerprint on a Bottle

AP Oakland, CA — A fingerprint left on a bottle eight years ago led to the arrests of two women who admitted tying an 84-year-old woman to her bed, beating her and setting a fire that killed her, police said.

Denitra Cunmoore, 21, and Dethra Edwards, 23, both of Oakland, confessed to the crime, police said Friday.

The women told police they were 12 and 14 years old, respectively, when they tied Virginia Hogan to her bed, beat her and set fire to the room in the woman’s San Francisco apartment to hide the crime, police said.

The attack occurred January 19, 1984, and Hogan died of smoke inhalation six days later.

The women are being held without bail in San Francisco on charges of murder, burglary and arson. Because they were minors when the crimes occurred, the case will be handled in Juvenile Court.

Dunmoore was arrested Tuesday after Wendy Chong, a San Francisco police fingerprint technician, matched Dunmoore’s fingerprints to one taken off a wine bottle found on Hogan’s scorched bed. The unidentified print lay in a file for eight years until this month, when Chong ran it through a computer fingerprint identification system that scans the print files of other police departments. She found a match in Oakland, where Dunmoore had been arrested on a petty theft charge.

Edwards was arrested Thursday on a prostitution warrant. Her mother was the dead woman’s housekeeper.

Spokesman Review, 1992