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Phoenix police make arrest in sexual assault, murder case from 1987

The victim was found in an alleyway along Buchanan Street after she was beaten, sexually assaulted and set on fire.
Credit: 12 News

PHOENIX — New evidence led to a break in a sexual assault and murder case that happened over 33 years ago in Phoenix.  

Police say Darron Miniefield, 52, was arrested Tuesday for the sexual assault and murder of a woman in February of 1987.

The victim, 41-year-old Marilyn Johns, was found in an alleyway along Buchanan Street after she was beaten, sexually assaulted and set on fire.

John suffered severe burns on over 85% of her body and died about two weeks later. The case went cold until Phoenix police investigators worked with detectives with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office last year.

Investigators from both departments were able to track down new evidence that pointed to Miniefield.

He was booked into the Maricopa County Jail, charged with 1st Degree Murder.

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