A man long considered the prime suspect in an 8-year-old boy's 1979 rape and murder was arrested Tuesday in the slaying after DNA evidence tied him to the crime, authorities said.

David B. Bowen, 44, was arrested Tuesday morning at a motel outside Kingfield, Maine, where he worked, Lake County Sheriff Rogelio "Roy" Dominguez said.

Bowen, a former Indiana resident, is accused of killing Kenneth Conrick, whose nude body was found bound to a tree in October 1979 in a wooded area near his family's Gary-area home. A cord had been tied around his neck, and his body showed signs of brutal, prolonged torture.

Bowen, then 16, emerged as a suspect, but no physical evidence linked him to the crime until investigators reopened the case three years ago. Authorities located Bowen's sister and took a DNA sample from her that showed enough similarities to genetic material found at the scene to link Bowen himself to the crime.

Bowen surrendered a DNA sample to Lake County investigators months ago, and investigators said it matched DNA taken from Conrick's clothing.

It was unclear whether Bowen had an attorney. Bowen told jail officials that he did not want to speak to the press, a jail representative said Tuesday night.

He could be extradited to face charges in Lake County in a week, and if convicted could face a prison term of 60 years under statutes from 1979, Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter said Tuesday.