11/16/2013 11:06 am ET

Police Pursue Person Of Interest In 42-Year-Old 'Valentine's Day Killings' Cold Case

Authorities breathed new life into a 42-year-old grisly murder mystery this week when they announced they have a person of interest in the case.

Jesse McBane, 19, and his girlfriend Patricia Mann, 20, were last seen leaving a Valentine's Day dance at Watts Hospital in Durham, N.C., on February 12, 1971, according to WRAL. Mann was a nursing student at the hospital.

A few days later, on Feb. 25, the couple's bodies were found "tied up, strangled and covered with leaves in the forest, off a one-track dirt road," in Orange County, N.C., WRAL reports.

Authorities won't name the man they want to speak to, but they could be close to solving what was dubbed the "Valentine's Day killings."

Fox News reports that, according to authorities, the couple was tortured in a "sadistic strangling."

In a separate report, WRAL's Arielle Clay provides some background on the case:

The rumors swirled, even back then, that the killer was a prestigious man in the community. Someone connected to the hospital where Patricia was a nursing student. To this day, no one has ever been arrested. Investigators believe the killer is still alive.



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