1988 cold case murder reopened, leads to arrest in North Carolina

A 1988 cold case murder in Montgomery County has since been reopened as officials have arrested a man in North Carolina and charged him in the homicide.

On Nov. 1, 1988 police found the body of Debra Wiggins on an embankment off the southbound lanes of Route 309 in Lower Gwynedd Township. Police concluded that the cause of death was suffocation and stragulation. However, no suspects were charged.

In a similar crime less than a year later, police found the body of Ronald Alston near the same spot off Route 309. That death was also ruled a homicide by strangulation.

An investigation into the murder of Alston resulted in police arresting Charles Maitland. Alston was Maitland's landlord at a property on the 3000 block of North Park Avenue in Philadelphia.

Maitland later confessed to the killing of Alston and was sentenced for 2-10 years in prision in 1991.

The similarities between the murder of Alston and Wiggins were re-investigated by Philadelphia-area CIA unit in 2015, and new investigative leads and evidence were obtained.

After a three year investigation, officials obtained a warrant for Maitland's arrest and charged him with the murder of Wiggins.

Mailand was detained in Fayetteville, North Carolina where he awaits extradition.