Wendy Jerome, 14, was raped and killed whereas delivering a birthday card in her neighborhood on Thanksgiving Day 1984 and her physique was discovered by a pedestrian close to a college dumpster that evening with “apparent indicators of trauma,” stated Rochester police Capt. Frank Umbrino.
Timothy Williams, 56, was arrested at his house in Melbourne, Florida, on Wednesday and arraigned as a fugitive, in keeping with Monroe County Assistant District Legal professional Julie Hahn.
In a tearful speech, Jerome’s mom thanked the police division for the lengths it went to unravel the case.
“I by no means thought I might see at the present time, and now it is right here,” Marlene Jerome stated. “I simply want my husband had been alive to see this. He handed away in 2011 and I do know he is up there along with her and so they’re smiling, saying, ‘It is over, it is lastly over.'”
In 1999, DNA extracted from semen collected throughout an post-mortem was uploaded to the FBI’s DNA database, however had no matches, Umbrino stated. In 2017, New York legislation was modified to permit legislation enforcement to seek for familial matches to DNA collected in felony investigations, and the division requested to have a familial DNA search performed to see if there was a match with the extracted DNA or anybody that is perhaps associated.
In July 2020, familial search outcomes from the New York state crime lab generated new leads, which had been narrowed all the way down to attainable suspects, in keeping with Umbrino.
Legislation enforcement confirmed Williams’ involvement with an extra DNA pattern, District Legal professional Sandra Doorley stated, declining to debate the proof additional.
Williams lived in Jerome’s neighborhood in 1984 and would have been 20 on the time of the Jerome’s demise, in keeping with Umbrino.
Williams had no protection legal professional in Florida, the place he waived extradition in Florida, in keeping with the Brevard County Clerk of Courtroom’s workplace. He now awaits extradition to New York, the place he can be arraigned in Rochester Metropolis Courtroom for second-degree homicide, Hahn stated.
Investigators had discovered the case significantly significant, typically persevering with to help after leaving the division, Umbrino stated. One officer had participated within the investigation because the preliminary report. Some, like Hahn, had been youngsters on the time of the homicide, and remembered it vividly.
“Wendy’s story helped to form me into the prosecutor I’m at the moment,” Hahn stated.
Umbrino choked again tears as he recounted investigators visiting Jerome’s mom on Thursday evening to tell her that Williams had been arrested.
“Marlene, I am sorry it took so lengthy, however we lastly did it,” Umbrino stated, his voice cracking, as he embraced her.