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Man wanted in 1984 Florida killing captured in California

Donald Santini, arrested Thursday in San Diego County, is suspected in the killing of Cynthia Ruth Wood, officials said.
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A man suspected in a killing in Florida that happened 39 years ago was arrested Thursday in California, officials said.

Donald Santini, 65, was wanted in the 1984 killing of Cynthia Ruth Wood in Hillsborough County in western Florida.

He was arrested in Campo, a small community in San Diego County near the Mexico border, on Thursday by a fugitive task force, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

A tip led authorities to Santini, the Marshals Service said.

“This arrest allows us to reexamine evidence collected in 1984 using the technology of today, as the case is now considered open once again,” spokesperson Amanda Granit of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Cynthia Ruth Wood.
Cynthia Ruth Wood.Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office via WFLA

The Florida sheriff's office had an arrest warrant out for Santini in the killing, she said.

Santini was being held without bond in California Friday night, according to jail records.

It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Wood's body was found in a ditch in Riverview, southeast of Tampa, on June 9, 1984, and a medical examiner determined she had been strangled, NBC affiliate WFLA of Tampa reported.

Campo is a community of almost 3,000 people around 40 miles southeast of San Diego.