New Hampshire Man Indicted In 1987 Slaying Of Boston Woman

Authorities say they've solved the decades-old slaying of a 19-year-old Boston woman who was beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled.

James Paige, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was indicted Monday on a first-degree murder charge in the 1987 killing of Dora Brimage.

Brimage's body was found on Sept. 7, 1987, in a vacant building that was under renovation in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood. Prosecutors believe Brimage had accepted a ride from Paige after a party, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said.

Paige, 50, was being held without bail Tuesday at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in Manchester after he was arrested last week for a probation violation. Authorities hope to bring Paige to Massachusetts for arraignment on the murder charge in the comings weeks, Conley said.

It could not immediately be determined if Paige has retained a lawyer.

Police preserved biological evidence from Brimage's body, but sophisticated DNA testing was not available at the time of the killing. Within the last few years, cold case detectives submitted the material for DNA testing. Lab technicians developed a DNA profile, and in 2014 matched it to Paige's DNA profile, which was on record in a criminal database because he had been convicted of a felony.

Conley's spokesman, Jake Wark, said Paige has a lengthy criminal record dating back to the 1980s, including convictions for robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, receiving stolen property and other offenses. Wark said any of those convictions would have triggered a requirement that he submit a sample to the state DNA database, which is shared with a national database. It was unclear when Paige's DNA profile was first recorded in the databases.

Conley said Brimage sang gospel in the youth choir of her church and hoped to become a nurse.

"But all her hopes, dreams and accomplishments came to naught when she got into a car with the man who, we believe, took her life," Conley said.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said authorities hope the indictment of Paige gives Brimage's family some measure of comfort.

"We never forget the victims of homicide in our city. We all take it personally," Evans said during a news conference Tuesday.


More from WBUR

Listen Live