Man charged in nearly 30-year-old suburban Chicago slaying

NILES, Ill. (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the nearly 30-year-old murder of a woman at a suburban Chicago YMCA.

DNA evidence was used to charge Richard J. Sisto, 72, in the 1992 strangulation of Helen K. Cardwell, Niles Police Deputy Chief Nick Zakula said Wednesday.

Sisto was already in custody for a minor offense in Harris County, Texas, when his arrest warrant was signed Oct. 15, Zakula said. He is currently being held on $1 million bond.

Cardwell was found strangled with her own sweater in her room inside the Leaning Tower YMCA on Nov. 7, 1992. She had been sexually assaulted.

Zakula said Sisto’s last known Illinois address was in the Chicago suburb of Lake in the Hills.

Niles police released few details on the arrest, but said a press conference to discuss the case would occur Oct. 27.

A relative of Cardwell discovered her body during a weekly visit, police said.

Relatives at the time told police that Cardwell had recently moved from Huntington, West Virginia, in search of work and was scheduled to begin a job at a Park Ridge hospital.

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