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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The city of Springfield is preparing to demolish a hardware store that was the scene of an unsolved ax killing 37 years ago.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that a private contractor finished removing asbestos from Lauterbach Cottage Hardware Store on Thursday. City officials say the structure will be demolished sometime in the next week.

Police have been looking for a suspect since March 18, 1981, when a man walked into the store, grabbed an ax and forced three people in the store to get on their knees. He swung at their heads. One person, 64-year-old John Ewing, was struck three times and died. A customer found the victims a half hour later.

The building was abandoned and the remainder of the hardware store was auctioned in 2011.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com