Ohio Man Charged in Connection to 1989 Killing of Elderly Penn. Woman: This Case 'Was Never Forgotten'

Rose Hnath, 78, was "stabbed and bludgeoned" to death in her North Whitehall Township home on Jan. 21, 1989

<p>Pennsylvania State Police</p> Rose Hnath.

Pennsylvania State Police

Rose Hnath.

An Ohio man has been arrested and charged for his alleged connection to the 1989 killing of an elderly Pennsylvania woman, authorities said.

Michael Breisch, 65, is being charged with homicide in relation to the Jan. 21, 1989, murder of 78-year-old Rose Hnath in North Whitehall Township, Lehigh County District Attorney Gavin Holihan announced during a press conference on Thursday, May 16.

Hnath was "stabbed and bludgeoned" to death in her home over three decades ago. Her cause of death at the time was determined as blunt force trauma and sharp force injuries, Holihan told reporters, including NBC10 Philadelphia, which shared footage from the press conference.

A spokesperson for the office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for more information.

Related: Woman Charged with Murder of Baby Found in Woodland 26 Years Ago: 'Extremely Emotional Case'

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of a police siren


Stock image of a police siren

After multiple district attorneys worked on the case throughout the decades, Holihan announced the news of Breisch's Ohio arrest, stating that he's being held without bail in Lehigh County Jail.

The D.A. referenced "DNA evidence that was collected and preserved" and said that technological advances not available in the "20th century" led to the arrest. He also specifically credited investigator Joseph Vasquez for his work on the case, as he had been involved since the beginning.

Holihan explained that a knife and a pellet gun, found "at the scene of the crime and across the street," were maintained "in a condition sufficient enough to use [as] evidence decades later."

He commended the "professionalism" of state police in 1989 and the "perseverance" of prosecutors in the years since.

As CBS News reported, the victim was a widow who lived alone at the time of her murder. She was found dead by relatives after she didn't attend church. They also discovered her home had been ransacked.

Holihan said that Hnath had "defensive injuries," which indicated that her attacker "continued the assault even after she fought back."

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. 

Breisch, who was 30 years old at the time, was living in the Lehigh Valley at a community corrections facility, according to CBS News.

"Part of the reason for the violence involved and the reason some of the evidence recovered was able to be maintained was the fact that she fought back," Holihan said.

"You're looking at cases that detectives don't forget about. And you don't get a free pass on murder," he later stated. "The cases stay around and the detective's memory stays around and the case files stay around. It's not lost on our current office that these are families that have lost someone. It doesn't matter how long ago it was. ... Although it went cold, it was never forgotten, it was never set aside."

Breisch's preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 21, according to Holihan.

As The Morning Call reported, Breisch was previously charged with escape and drug possession in 1989, which court records show he served six months for at the time. He was also reportedly arrested in 1993 for burglary in Pike County, per the outlet.

The Morning Call said he's also been charged with robbery, burglary and aggravated assault. Despite Hnath’s home having been burglarized weeks earlier, Breisch is only being charged with the burglary from the day of the murder.

The victim's family is "gratified and relieved that there's been an arrest made," the D.A. said.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.