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Suspect in attempted murder may have ties to 1992 unsolved case

Published: Aug. 29, 2008 at 9:57 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2008 at 3:27 PM EDT
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By Maira Ansari - bio | email 
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After a brutal attempted murder of a Breckinridge County woman, WAVE 3 is investigating a cold case out of Elizabethtown. As WAVE 3's Maira Ansari reports, state police say the two cases have a striking resemblance and they could finally be close to uncovering some answers to a brutal 16-year-old murder.

Neighbors and friends of a Breckinridge County woman say she's lucky to be alive.

"He cut her throat from here to here and, and she had wounds across her chest and her stomach and different areas" said Larry Frame, a neighbor of the woman.

"I thought I was in a movie or something" said Jeanne Powell, a friend of the victim.

The victim told police her neighbor, 58-year-old Ernest Pine, came to into her Hardinsburg house and attacked her.

"She told me that he told her that, 'you're gonna die tonight,'" said Frame.

Kentucky State Police say Pine slashed the victim with a knife repeatedly and sexually assaulted her. Although the investigation into Pine's attack is just beginning in Breckinridge County, KSP say this case does resemble a 1992 cold case in Elizabethtown.

16 years ago, someone sexually assaulted, stabbed and killed Elena Sanchez Hawkins. Her husband found the 29-year-old mother of two dead.

"This did involve a rape. It did involve a murder, a knife with severe lacerations," said Trooper First Class Steve Pavey, spokesperson for the KSP Elizabethtown post.

Police say Hawkins may have known her assailant. Pine lived in Elizabethtown for some time, but he was never considered a suspect in Hawkins death. However, the similarities between the cases have authorities questioning whether Pine is connected to them both.

"There has been quite a few people from the community that remember that case from 1992 that have phoned in, sent emails. If there is evidence in that direction we are gonna check into it. I'm sure we will," said Pavey.

Pavey says that police will gather all of their evidence in the Breckinridge County attempted murder before moving on with the cold case.

Pine will be arraigned in court on Tuesday. He is charged with burglary, rape, sodomy and attempted murder.