‘It’s a relief to all of us:’ Friend of Sandpoint murder victim reacts to cold case arrest

‘It’s a relief to all of us:’ Friend of Sandpoint murder victim reacts to cold case arrest
Sandpoint Police Department
Tammy Bristowe was murdered in Sandpoint in 1987. 

It’s been 32 years since Tammy Bristow’s death. That’s 32 birthdays, 32 anniversaries and 32 years of looking for answers. New information released Friday, gives the community of Sandpoint some relief.

“It’s a relief to all of us. I don’t think she’s ever been forgotten. Even though it feels like it at times,” said Karen Bishop, Bristow’s best friend since childhood.

Bristow was murdered at just 18 years old, leaving behind her loved ones.

“Tammy and I were best friends for years, from elementary shcool and high school, and were roommates out of high school,” Bishop said.

Bishop said she can remember the devastating moment of her murder like it was yesterday.

“They said to go in and sit down. That’s when Ralph said that my friend Tammy was gone,” Bishop said.

Bishop said her friend was a beloved community member.

“She was awesome. She was loving, caring, she would give the shirt off her back for anybody,” Bishop said.

Police think they have answers after her brutal attack and murder in her Sandpoint apartment. Police said DNA from the scene matches William Acosta.

Bristow’s murderer may finally be convicted.

“The officers over the years have told me, they’ll give me hugs – and they’ll tell me that she’s not forgotten,” Bishop said.

For people asking what took so long, why it took 32 years – Sandpoint Police said technology played a big role in the investigation. At the time of the crime, touch DNA testing was not an option for detectives. When it was available as a resource, detectives re-evaluated DNA under Bristow’s fingernails – which led to Acosta’s arrest.

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