LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Convicted sex offender Jasper Goddard was arrested in another state and extradited to Nevada last year to face charges in a 1986 murder, thanks to a procedural change.
Goddard, 65, who was living in Missouri at the time of his arrest, had prior convictions in Springfield, Mo., on charges of sodomy and sexual abuse of an 8-year-old girl in 1990.
The state of Missouri has very stringent laws in place concerning sex offenders and implemented a statewide registration program in 1995. The program requires DNA samples from convicted offenders.
In 2009, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act also applied to individuals who committed sex offenses prior to July 20, 2006. That change in DNA collection requirements led to the apprehension of a dangerous murderer and serial sexual offender.
In late 2012, a DNA sample was collected from Goddard.
That sample linked him to the 1986 murder of April Marie Rhodes, 8, and Nevada authorities issued a warrant for Goddard’s arrest.
During a routine traffic stop, the Nevada warrant was discovered, and Goddard was arrested.
Rhodes had been kidnapped from her family’s home in North Las Vegas sometime during the night of Nov. 23, 1986. The next day, her bloodied body was found in a storage locker approximately two doors away in the same apartment complex. She was severely beaten and sexually assaulted.
Authorities also believe she was repeatedly hit in the head with a brick.
Goddard reportedly lived just two door away from the Rhodes home at the time of her murder.
He has been charged with four felonies; burglary, battery with intent to commit sexual assault, sexual assault with a minor under 16 years of age and murder with the use of a deadly weapon.
Police believe that Goddard may linked to other murder and abuse cases.
The state is seeking the death penalty.
Jasper Goddard pleaded not guilty to all charges in Jan. 2013.
He trial is scheduled for May 11, 2015.