Michael Newkirk is in prison for another crime. Detective Sgt. Sally Wolter of the state police said Newkirk confessed because it was "weighing heavy on his chest."
Helen Tracy was 88 years old when she was killed in her home in 1989. The 60-year-old Newkirk appeared in a Kent County court on Wednesday. He faces at least 25 years in prison when he returns on March 20.
A Kent County cold case team reopened the case in 2009. Investigators talked to Newkirk again last year when he was convicted of a different crime.