Va. Beach police say new technology could crack 1986 homicide cold case

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) —  A lot has changed near the intersection of Independence and Honey Grove Roads. New businesses have popped up, a new Old Donation School built, but one thing that hasn’t changed is finding the person who killed a young woman and left her body lying in a field 31 years ago.

“She was stabbed multiple times,” said Virginia Beach Police Detective Angela Curran.

22-year-old Roberta Walls was last seen alive May 14, 1986. Police say she left work at the Bayside Library that evening to go hang out with friends. Police found her dead the next morning just after 6:30.

“We don’t have much more information other than between the time she was with her friends and her body was found,” Curran added.

Virginia Beach police say new technology could help find the person who killed her. A lab was able to create a composite of who detectives could be looking for. It is the first time Virginia Beach police used the technology.

“The top photograph is what the individual would have looked like in 1988 and the bottom is aged progressed to what the individual would look like today,” Curran said.

Police say over the years 41 of possible suspects have been ruled out, but this is the best lead yet.

“The technology is amazing and we’re hoping that somebody out there may recognize this person,” Curran added.

Police tell 10 On Your Side the sketches did come cheap. They paid thousands of dollars.

Walls family no longer lives in the area, but police say they have been very active in the investigation.

Detectives say they want to solve every case, especially one that has left the family without answers for more than three decades.

“We just want to solve them all and give some type of closure to the family,” Curran said.

Photos of a person of interest in a 1986 cold case murder in Virginia Beach. (Photos: WAVY/Jason Marks via Virginia Beach Police Department).

WATCH: Police announce developments in the murder of Roberta Walls. App users can watch the news conference here.