Los Angeles police say they are testing a knife recovered on a property once owned by OJ Simpson, the former football player acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife and her friend in a trial that gripped the public two decades ago.
The elite robbery-homicide division are testing the knife to determine whether it has any connection with the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, police spokesman Andrew Neiman said.
He told a press conference the knife was turned over in the last month by a retired police officer who said he obtained it from someone working on a construction site at the property.
Mr Neiman said the knife would be tested for DNA evidence, but added it was possible that “the whole story is bogus from the get-go”.
Mr Neiman declined to name the retired police officer or to say why the knife had only come to light last month.
Celebrity gossip website TMZ reported the worker found a folding knife buried at the site and gave it to the officer who was working security for a film crew in the area.
NBC News, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, reported it was a smaller, relatively inexpensive utility-style blade typically carried by construction workers or other labourers and inconsistent with it being the murder weapon.
The now-retired police officer kept the knife at home until about two months ago, TMZ reported.
Simpson, a retired pro football Hall of Fame running back for the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills, was acquitted of the murder charges in 1995.
The knife was found on the grounds of the house where Simpson lived at the time of the murders, which has since been razed.
Simpson’s ex-wife and Mr Goldman were stabbed multiple times in the neck and head but the murder weapon was never found at the time of the nine-month long trial.
Simpson lost a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the victims’ families.
Lead prosecutor in Simpson’s murder trial, Marcia Clark, told Entertainment Tonight she was pleased police were taking the find seriously, even if it was unlikely to lead to a new charges.
“The likelihood of any prosecution stemming from this evidence is very, very slim,” she said.
“But we have to find out what this means, what the truth of this is.”
Ms Clark also said she believed it was possible that DNA evidence could be lifted from the blade that could shed light on the case.
Simpson cannot be prosecuted again for the two murders because that would constitute double jeopardy, but is now in prison on a 2008 armed robbery conviction related to the robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel.