A Saratoga County grand jury Thursday indicted a former Waterford constable on murder and witness tampering charges.
Nelson E. Costello, 62, was arrested last week in Cohoes for the alleged April 1969 murder of David Bacon when both men were 22.
District Attorney James A. Murphy III said the indictment charges Costello with murder and with communicating with someone who has talked recently with police about the crime 40 years ago.
Bacon was last seen on April 10, 1969. Police say they have received information that Bacon was shot to death at Alcathy’s Marina in Waterford and they believe his body may have been taken out of New York, perhaps to Virginia.
Police said they received information last year about the killing and Costello’s involvement. No motive has been cited.
Murphy said Costello was questioned by police at his home in Arizona last fall and then he made phone calls to potential witnesses in an effort to stop them from talking to police.
Costello came to New York last week in a second effort to stop witnesses from talking, police said.
Murphy said Costello was arrested last Thursday after he crashed a rental car in Cohoes and then left the scene.
“He crashed the car in downtown Cohoes and then returned to the rental agency where he said he had an accident in a rural area,” Murphy said.
He said police have been working diligently for about a year trying to find evidence from four decades ago.
“I applaud the work of law enforcement agencies who took a 40-year-old missing persons case and worked diligently to uncover the truth,” Murphy said. “It is important that the full light of day be shown upon the facts and that a judge and jury make a determination about the outcome of this case.”
Murphy and the local police agencies involved in the investigation are scheduled to hold a press conference in Ballston Spa today.
State police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Captain Steven G. James said his agency worked with other police departments in their investigation, including agencies in Arizona and Virginia.
“The indictment of Nelson Costello for murder is the culmination of an intense multi-jurisdictional investigation assisted by numerous local and out of state agencies,” he said. “It involved a difficult effort to reconstruct an investigation commenced in 1969 with the disappearance of David Bacon and the challenges presented in the continuing investigation to bring his killer to justice after 40 years.”
Costello was arraigned on Jan. 30 in Clifton Park Town Court and sent to Saratoga County Jail without bail.
After the indictment was handed up Thursday, Costello appeared before Saratoga County Judge Jerry Scarano and was arraigned on the new charges, then returned to the jail.