DETECTIVES investigating the cold case murder of a mother in 1980 have cleared her family’s priest as a suspect.
Maria James was stabbed to death at the Thornbury Bookstore 35 years ago.
The case was reopened in 2013 when her son revealed new evidence that he alleged may have implicated Father Anthony Bongiorno.
But Detective Sen-Sgt Stuart Bailey, of the Homicide Squad, said Father Bongiorno — who died in 2002 — had now been ruled out as a suspect.
“Father Bongiorno … has been eliminated as a suspect through a variety of investigative techniques,” Det Sen-Sgt Bailey said.
He said the investigation had uncovered “other avenues of inquiry” as police continued to investigate Ms James’s murder.
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