Suspect arrested in 1980 Douglas County cold case murder

James Clanton

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A 62-year-old Florida truck driver has been arrested and charged in the killing of a college student working as an intern for a Denver radio station nearly 40 years ago.

21-year-old Helene Pruszynski was found stabbed to death in a field on Daniels Park Road on January 16, 1980.

Investigators believe she was abducted near Union Avenue while she was walking home from her internship.

James Curtis Clanton of Lake Butler has been extradited to Colorado.

Police uploaded DNA to and found several potential distant relatives. Two of the top matches later authorized investigators to access their family trees on

After eliminating several relatives, investigators focused on Clanton and went to Florida to obtain a surreptitious DNA sample.

They tested a beer mug he was seen using at a bar, which led to the charges.

Helene Pruszynski

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