Local law enforcement authorities say they have made a breakthrough in establishing Albert DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler, using DNA evidence to establish a "familial link" between DeSalvo and murder victim Mary Sullivan.

"Today's developments means we may have solved one of the nation's most notorious serial killings," said Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Davis said Boston Police followed DeSalvo's family until DeSalvo's nephew discarded a water bottle from which he had been drinking, recovered the bottle and used DNA on it to establish the familial link.

While the familial link eliminates other suspects in Sullivan's murder, DeSalvo's body has been exhumed to test against the DNA for an exact match, Conley said.

There is no remaining DNA evidence from the 10 other murders attributed to the Boston Strangler, and Conley noted today's findings only relate to the murder of Sullivan.

Sullivan, 19, was raped and murdered in her Beacon Hill apartment in 1964.

District Attorney Dan Conley, Coakley and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis announced the findings Thursday morning.

The attorney for the DeSalvo family joined Greater Boston to talk about the developments in the murder investigation.