On Aug. 22, 1996, a 22-year-old college student named Debbie Dorian was found dead in her Fresno County, California, apartment, her body bound at the hands and feet with duct tape.

The duct tape was also wrapped around her head, covering her mouth, nose and eyes, says Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.

The unsolved slaying gripped the community for decades. And on Wednesday, 52-year-old Nickey Stane was charged in the sexual assault and murder after authorities implemented the novel investigative technique that caught the suspected "Golden State Killer," officials said.

"Now I will see justice for Deb before I die," her mother, Sara Loven, said at a Wednesday news conference.

As the years passed without an arrest in Dorian's murder, investigators ran the unknown suspect DNA recovered from the scene through CODIS, a law enforcement database -- but there were no hits, officials said.

In 2002, investigators in Fresno learned the DNA recovered from Dorian's case was matched to a sex assault in Visalia, California, officials said, but Visalia authorities also did not have a suspect named.

In 2009, Tulare County prosecutors said they filed a "John Doe" complaint against the DNA profile of the unknown suspect accusing him in multiple sexual assaults in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Visalia, officials said.

The break in the case finally came when investigators in 2018 decided to use the novel technique of genetic genealogy.

Investigators have now matched Stane's DNA to the Visalia sexual assaults and Dorian's murder, prosecutors said.