LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A family left the Lexington Police Department on Monday crying tears of joy after finding out that authorities had solved the 1987 murder of a loved one.

DNA helped solve the case of Mary Mathis Davis. One family member told FOX8 it was the best day of her life.

Investigators have not provided any details about the suspect or the investigation.

However, a former detective who worked on the case said officials worked hard to find out who was responsible. At one point, he said they believed they had a suspect, but that fell through.

Now, three decades later, he said he’s happy that family members may be getting the closure they have longed for.

Davis was last seen on May 30, 1987, at Lanier’s Ace Hardware store on South Main Street in Lexington. She came to work that day and worked for a short period of time.

Her family got a phone call hours later after Mary never showed back up after lunch. The next day, Lexington police came to her parents’ home to tell them the devastating news that their 29-year-old daughter, a mother of two, had been strangled to death.

For 36 long years, Mary’s family has been holding on to memories and hoping they would get the answers they waited for.

Now their prayers have been answered.

The family tells FOX8 that Mary’s birthday is Sunday. She would have been 65 years old.