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DIGGING DEEPER: Found files bring hope in Douglas cold-case murder

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TUCSON - We have a major update on a cold case that's over three decades old.

It happened in Douglas just southeast of Tucson. 

News 4 Tucson's Digging Deeper team has been working with the family to get some answers as to who killed Patricia Alvarez 33 years ago.

Alvarez was a single mother of two small children.  Police said she was strangled and stabbed in August of 1986.

The killer has never been positively identified. Worse yet Douglas police lost the case files.

Or so they thought.

According to Cecelia Becerra, Alvarez's sister, she received word last week from the detective who was assigned the case that the files were found.

Douglas Police Chief, Kraig Fullin, respectfully declined an on-camera interview but in an email, he told News 4 Tucson:

"We are certainly relieved that the original case file was located within our records section. Since the family first brought this matter to our attention the assigned detective has been working to try and reconstruct the case. Those efforts include sending the physical evidence back to the crime lab for renewed analysis which will take some time. Now with the original case file at hand the detective will be able to review the file, along with the lab analysis once received and determine what direction to follow, rather than attempting to reconstruct the elements of the case."

Last August, Becerra and her family were at the cemetery on the anniversary of Paty's death. They had been praying for answers.

"I do feel in my heart that Paty is with me, and that she is going to be the support that I need to make me go forward with my mission. " Becerra told News 4 Tucson.

Becerra also told the Digging Deeper Team, she believes the files being found was a miracle, just a few weeks before Christmas.

We will keep you updated on this story.

Paul Birmingham

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