Douglas Gutridge, 63, of Lodi, Calif., is charged of fatally stabbing 35-year-old Carla Leigh Salazar on June 28, 1989, reports MyNewsLA.com.
The arrest last week is the first for a newly formed Orange County cold case task force.
Through advances in technology, authorities linked the defendant to the crime through DNA, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
Gutridge was an early suspect in the case, but authorities said they never had enough evidence to file charges against him.
Officials said Gutridge and the victim were acquaintances.