Authorities in Union County crack cold case from '76

Authorities in Union County say they have arrested a man for a murder that was committed in 1976.The suspect, now 51, was just 15 years

WESTFIELD - Authorities in Union County say they have arrested a man for a murder that was committed in 1976.

The suspect, now 51, was just 15 years old at the time of the murder.

Back in March 1976, Lena Triano, 57, was an unmarried legal secretary who was living alone in a house on Ripley Place. Neighbors describe her as a quiet, kind, church-going woman. Her brutal murder sent shock waves through her Westfield neighborhood.

Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow says that Triano was sexually assaulted and stabbed repeatedly. Romankow says she was struck in the head with a bottle and left to die in her bed.

Evidence retained by the Westfield Police Department and advances in forensic science gave investigators what they needed to link the 51-year-old man to the decades-old murder.

Despite the suspect's current age, the prosecutor says he must be treated as though he's still a juvenile, so his identity will not be released.

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