ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP, KRQE) – Albuquerque police say a cold-case investigation has resulted in the arrest of a 38-year-old man who confessed to a brutal 1996 killing after being confronted with DNA evidence that linked him to the crime scene.
A police affidavit says Jedidiah Rose initially denied involvement in the killing of Richard Brodbeck at Brodbeck’s residence, but then admitted beating the victim in the head with a vase and another blunt object.
Police interviewed and then arrested Rose at his place of employment Tuesday.
Rose remained in jail Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder, and it’s not immediately clear whether he has an attorney.
According to the police affidavit, DNA evidence linked to Rose was found at 14 locations in Brodbeck’s blood-stained residence, including on an adhesive bandage.
Neighbors on Madison Street in Southeast Albuquerque said they have a very close-knit community.
“This neighborhood is very active and social and most of us all know each other,” said the victim’s next door neighbor.
But a gruesome murder two decades ago shook this quiet neighborhood near Nob Hill.
“Officers arrive on scene, find the victim wrapped in some laundry. Clearly a crime scene and they investigate it as a murder,” said Tanner Tixier, Albuquerque Police Department.
On May 23, 1996 then 43-year-old Rick Brodbeck’s friends went to check on him after not hearing from him for a few days. They found blood everywhere, and then his bludgeoned body. The case quickly turned cold.
“Unfortunately, there were no leads at that time,” said Tixier.
It may have been a robbery gone wrong. When police arrived they discovered the stereo was gone, the safe was broken open, and his car was missing.
Neighbors had questions all these years, and his next-door neighbor remembers that time vividly.
“The rumor was that it had been someone he met, but we never got any true details,” said a neighbor.
Fast forward 20 years, police now have 38-year-old Jedidiah Rose in custody. Investigators had the killer’s blood from the scene. Last year, Rose was arrested on a car theft related charge- his DNA taken. Police finally had their match and investigators finally tracked Rose down Tuesday in the Heights.
“We actually questioned him at his place of work. We took him into a business office. Our detective was able to gain him rapport and get a confession,” said Tixier.
Neighbors said they are relieved and remember Brodbeck as a good neighbor.
“He was a nice guy, quiet for the most part,” said a neighbor.
Police describe Rose as a transient. They would not elaborate on where he worked, only saying he was in the food service industry.
Rose is now charged with murder. It is not clear if he knew Brodbeck before the crime.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story)