It was March 13, 1986 when 53-year-old Russell Haines was strangled to death in his room at the Oregon Way Hotel in Longview, Wash., police say.
Police investigated, but had no witnesses or suspects in the case, Fox News reported. Over time, the case turned cold, and then ice cold. It languished in investigative files for more than 30 years.
Then, on Friday, July 6, police say 58-year-old Glenn Eric Adams walked into the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice and told investigators he was the killer, KATU reported.
“Thirty years in the making, it got solved relatively easily,” Chris Blanchard, a spokesperson for the Longview Police Department, told the station. “We didn’t have any suspects that had sufficient evidence to charge at that point. The case was cold for the last 30-plus years.”
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Police said in a statement that as he was being arrested, Adams told them he “wanted to right the wrong that he has done,” and said the alleged murder was done to cover up a robbery.
Court documents reviewed by the Epoch Times showed that Adams lived with his girlfriend at the time of the murder and that the two had arguments about money, the paper reported.
Longview police Corporal Jeremy Johnson told The Daily News that Adams, who was also staying at the Oregon Way Hotel, needed cash and knew that Haines carried large amounts of it.
When Haines unlocked his hotel door, Adams allegedly put Haines in a chokehold from behind and took $400 from him when he passed out, police told the Epoch Times. As Haines began to recover, Adams allegedly strangled him to death with a cloth, police told the paper.
Adams had allegedly approached police in Santa Barbara, Calif., about turning himself in for the crime about a year ago, but left the station before he could be interviewed, according to The Daily News.
After they learned about this incident, police in Longview reopened the case, and visited Adams in Oregon after he was jailed for an unrelated offense, KATU reported.
“He wasn’t ready to provide a full confession at that point,” Blanchard told the station, adding that Adams did give them a DNA sample. “He said he wanted to speak with his brother further before he turned himself in.”
Adams was charged with first degree robbery and first degree murder, police said, and booked into the Cowlitz County Jail Saturday. Police said in a statement that they were still analyzing other pieces of evidence and combing over details of the case now that they have a suspect.
At his court hearing Monday, Adams asked the judge whether a lawyer was necessary if his intention was to plead guilty to the charges, The Daily News reported. The judge told him yes, and he chose to be represented by a public defender, according to the paper.
“It feels really good to put this case to closure,” Blanchard told KATU.