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DNA leads to arrest in Wisconsin woman's 34-year-old cold case murder

When presented with the DNA evidence, Lou Griffin stated that he must have had sex with her (Holstead) but he never killed (Holstead)

October 31, 2020

A Wisconsin man has been arrested in the cold case rape and murder of a 22-year-old woman 34 years ago.

Investigators said the victim, Lisa Holstead, and the man now charged with her murder in 1986 were strangers, according to reports.

Green Bay police said Thursday Lou Archie Griffin, 65, of Racine, Wis., was linked to the killing through DNA, but did not elaborate further. A press conference is scheduled for next week.

Holstead was strangled and her body found in a marsh that is now a nature preserve. She disappeared in the middle of the night after ditching her boyfriend following an argument.

Court papers said in an interview with investigators, Griffin at first denied ever seeing or hearing of Holstead, Fox 11 Green Bay reported.

"When presented with the DNA evidence, Lou Griffin stated that he must have had sex with her (Holstead) but he never killed (Holstead)," the court papers say, according to the station. He also said he did not remember having sex with her.

Three months before the murder, Griffin was released from prison after serving a sentence for sexually assaulting a child, the station reported.

WBAY-TV quoted the court papers as saying that Griffin denied killing Holstead but admitted to investigators that he was "high on cocaine... drinking (alcohol) that night." He also said he was familiar with the area where she disappeared.

Griffin was being held on $1 million bail.

The victim's son, Jeremy Holstead, spoke to NBC 26 Green Bay about his emotions following the arrest. He was 5 when she was killed.

"Sometimes I'm happy, sometimes you get a little more sad," he said. "I don't really know how to explain it. You don't want to get your hopes up way too high and have them come crashing down but I mean, I feel pretty good overall about it."

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