PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office announced an arrest in a cold case dating back to 1987.

On Feb. 9, 1987, a family member found the body of 82-year-old Opal Weil. She had been murdered in her home on 56th Avenue North in unincorporated Pinellas County.

Crime scene technicians collected hair samples at the time.

In 2020, cold case detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office submitted the hair samples for new DNA testing. Research, using a genealogical database, narrowed the search to three brothers with the help of the company Parabon.

“Through extensive testing, Parabon was able to identify through familial relatives and narrow it down to three possible males, two of which were able to be eliminated, leaving Lapniewski as the primary suspect,” said Detective Dave Brenn with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives were then able to collect DNA samples from Michael Lapniewski, 55 in Mississippi. They said his DNA matched the hair samples collected from the crime scene at the time of the murder.

Two other murders of elderly women occurred not far away from the murder of Weil in 1987.

So far, detectives believe the crimes may be linked. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s office said this is now an open and active investigation.