Steven Fike. (Alabama Department of Corrections)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — An Alabama inmate has been charged in the rape and murder of a 19-year-old woman 40 years ago in Boston, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office announced Thursday.
Steven Fike now faces charges of rape and first-degree murder in the killing of Wendy Dansereau, who was found sexually assaulted and strangled in a room at the Hotel Diplomat in Boston's South End on March 18, 1980.
Fike is currently in prison in Alabama, convicted in a separate 1982 rape and murder. He's currently eligible for parole.
Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins' office said Fike was charged as a result of forensic testing. DNA collected back at the time of the murder was entered into an FBI database, and matched to Fike's DNA profile. Fike was also found by police to have been in New England at the time of Dansereau's murder.
"Ms. Dansereau was 19 years old when she was murdered, and her family has waited nearly four decades to know what happened to her," DA Rollins said in a release. "Today, we have not only the advances in forensic testing necessary to identify her killer, but a team of dedicated professionals—including Boston Police Detective Jack Cronin and SCDAO Civilian Investigator Emily Wood—who have worked to find answers for Ms. Dansereau’s loved ones, especially her daughter, who was only four weeks old at the time of her mother’s death and has waited her entire life for accountability."
The solving of Dansereau's murder is part of a larger effort by Rollins' office to clear unsolved Boston-area homicides, known as PUSH (Project for Unsolved Suffolk Homicides).
"We may not be able to provide every family with the answers that we have found for Ms. Dansereau’s loved ones, but we can let every survivor of homicide know that we remember their loved one and we remain committed to solving their murder," Rollins said in the release. "We will continue to work on their behalf. And we will not rest. There is no statute of limitations on murder."
Fike will eventually be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court, but a date for that arraignment has not yet been set.