DNA from 36-year-old gum helps solve cold case

A 36-year-old piece of gum left behind at a crime scene was used to convict a British man of manslaughter.

Investigators matched the DNA found on the gum to DNA found on a letter that Osmond Bell, 60, sent authorities in an attempt to deflect blame, FOX News reports.

Bell was sentenced to 12 years in prison on March 22 for the 1981 murder of Nova Welsh, with whom Bell had two children.

After a six-week trial, the jury acquitted Bell of the serious murder charge, but found him guilty of manslaughter.

At the time of the crime, Welsh was 24 and dating a new man. Bell, who was jealous of the new relationship,"used forced on her neck, which in fact killed her," Judge Patrick Thomas said, according to The Sun.

Bell then hid Welsh's body in a cabinet, and left behind a piece of gum to seal the cupboard's lock.

When Bell was first arrested in 1981, he was eventually let go due to lack of evidence. But recently, thanks to advances in technology, the piece of chewed gum became the smoking gun in this case.

"The family can now have closure knowing the person who took Nova's life has been brought to justice," Nova's mom, Lorna Welsh, told the BBC.