The Greenville police announced Monday the arrest of two men in connection with a 33-year-old murder investigation.
Thomas Bikas’s body was found on a sidewalk near his Greenville home in November 1977. Police said he had been on his way home from a local bar. His wallet was missing, leading them to suspect Bikas was the victim of a robbery and had been beaten to death.
On Monday, authorities hoped to close the case, saying they had arrested 55-year-old Darnell Guyton of Minneapolis and 58-year-old Billy Ray Dudley of Princeton, West Virginia and have charged the pair with murder and strong-arm robbery.
Theodora Bikas- the victim’s daughter- said she hopes the family can now see justice.
I’m just so glad to… hopefully, get some closure, to know the faces. Now, we’re just counting on the solicitor’s office to come through for us and put a final end to all this.
Solicitor Walt Wilkins said he hopes to wrap up the investigation.
As with any cold case, you find yourself in unique circumstances, as opposed to a case that’s maybe a year or two old. We’ve been able to overcome any hurdles that may impede the prosecution. We’re ready to go foward… and give the Bikas family some sense of justice after all these many years.
Both Guyton and Dudley have waived extradition and are expected back in Greenville in the next few days.
Police Chief Terri Wilfong said the department’s Cold Case Unit took a lot of effort and time to expand the original investigation. “We’re very thrilled this case has been resolved,” she told reporters Monday.