Archie Rutherford of Spokane, Washington, United States was 58 years old when he was fatally stabbed inside his home. He was found dead by his wife Eleanor Cornelius Rutherford, then 64.
Two open liquor bottles were found in the house. There was no evidence of forced entry.
Blood was found in the kitchen. Unclothed in his blood-soaked bed, Archie had a skull fracture, electrical cord tied around his neck and fatal stab wounds.
Archie and Eleanor’s Honda was missing from the driveway. The car was later found on West Sprague Avenue in Spokane.
Months after the fatal stabbing, Tracy Sabron Pruitt, then 22, was arrested in Ohio, USA for an unrelated rape and robbery. He was convicted and sentenced to 27 years in prison.
On August 18, 1996, Eleanor died without knowing who killed her husband. In February 2022, the Washington State Patrol crime laboratory tested deoxyribonucleic acid from the crime scene.
In June 2022, a match report confirmed the blood found in the kitchen of Archie and Eleanor’s house in Spokane was Pruitt’s DNA. Moreover, one set of fingerprints found on the couple’s stolen Honda matched Pruitt’s.
On October 14, 2022, Spokane County District Court issued a first-degree murder warrant. On October 27, 2022, officers from the Spokane Police Department and Los Angeles Police Department arrested Pruitt in Los Angeles, California, USA.
On November 30, 2022, Pruitt will appear in court. He remains in custody in California awaiting extradition, which could take several months.
Investigators found no evidence that Pruitt and Archie knew each other. The suspect’s name never came up in interviews with the victim’s coworkers or friends.