DNA links barber to Texas newlywed's cold case murder from 1979

Advances in DNA technology have resulted in an arrest in a Texas cold case rape and murder that took place almost 40 years ago.

An indictment unsealed Thursday accuses Michael Galvan, 64, of capital murder in the death of 18-year-old Debra Sue Reiding in her apartment in Austin, Texas, in 1979, according to FOX7.

Galvan was always a suspect but Austin police never had enough evidence to arrest him, according to the television station.

He was positively linked to the crime after his DNA was found on a semen-stained robe Reiding was wearing when she was killed, KXAN-TV reported. The DNA test was performed last year.

“I've always known the person of interest needed to be pursued,” Reiding's younger brother, Rodney Wilt, told the station.

“After I've worked on this for so many years, it's just now finally starting to sink in that it might actually be coming to a close,” he said. “My whole life has been dedicated to getting to the bottom of this and letting my sister rest in peace.”

The station reported that Galvan and Reiding were co-workers at an Austin restaurant. He gave her rides home after work.


Reiding's husband found her body in bed, under the covers with a pillow over her head, police said.

Galvan has worked for years as a barber in Austin, KVUE-TV reported.

He left the barbershop suddenly the day he was arrested, according to the station.

Click for more from Fox 7 Austin.