A man has been arrested for the 1976 murder of elderly woman, Blanche Kimball, in Maine, after police obtained DNA from chewing gum.

According to The Kennebec Journal an undercover Seattle officer obtained a saliva sample from Gary Sanford Raub, 63, by asking him to participate in a "chewing gum survey".

His DNA from the saliva in the gum was consistent with samples found in Kimball's kitchen and on the knife handle from the stabbing, which occurred on June 12, 1976, in her home.

ABC News reported Raub, 63, one of Kimball's former tenants, was arrested on Monday in Seattle and charged with the stabbing murder of the 70-year-old.

Raub was interviewed twice after her violent death but denied any involvement in the case. The case went cold although authorities kept it opened, returning to it regularly, The Huffington Post reported

Advances in DNA resulted in police obtaining samples from blood splattered on Ms Kimball's kitchen drawer.

"It appeared that the person who had stabbed Blanche Kimball may have sustained injuries that caused him or her to bleed, leaving possible suspect blood on various items in the living room and kitchen,' Maine State Police Detective Abbe Chabot said in an affidavit.

The Daily Mail said Raub is expected to face court in Seattle tomorrow, where arrangements will be made to extradite him to Maine to face the charges.