INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis man who admitted to killing and raping a teenager 24 years ago has been sentenced 65 years in prison.
Forty-year-old Rodney Denk signed a plea agreement on May 30 admitting he killed 16-year-old Amy Weidner in exchange for the 65-year sentence.
Weidner had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled inside her Indianapolis home.
Detective Bill Carter with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is credited with solving the cold case.
Carter picked up the case in January 2012 and he found at the heart of the case, a piece of stereo equipment belonging to Weidner’s brother that was missing the day of the homicide.
“Once I organized the file about mid-June, I identified individuals who were associates of Amy’s brother to go back and talk. Some of those people had submitted hair, some had given both hair and fingerprints but not DNA,” Carter said.
That is when Carter noticed Denk was not on the list of friends who submitted samples, so in June 2012, he called Denk and asked to meet.
“He asked that I meet him on Sunday, I went to his house and he wasn’t there,” Carter said.
Carter became suspicious and found a palm print of Denk from a 1997 misdemeanor arrest.
He took that print and the print from the homicide scene to forensic experts who said it was a match.
Carter said it was satisfying to solve the case and put Denk away for a long time, but nothing will make up for the tragic loss of Amy Weidner.
Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1