14-year-old Wendy Jerome was raped and murdered on Thanksgiving Day 1984 while distributing a birthday card in her neighborhood, and her body was found that night by a pedestrian near a school dumper, who was “clear signs of the trauma” With said by Captain Frank Ambrino of Rochester. .
Timothy Williams, 56, was arrested at his home in Melbourne, Florida on Wednesday, and, according to Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Julie Hahn, argued as a fugitive.
In a tear-filled speech, Jerome’s mother thanked the police department for the lengths it went to in resolving the case.
“I never thought I’d see this day, and now it’s here,” Marlene Jerome said. “I wish my husband was alive to see it. He died in 2011 and I know he’s with him and they’re smiling and saying, ‘It’s over, it’s finally over.”
In 1999, DNA extracted from semen collected during an autopsy was uploaded to the FBI’s DNA database, but there was no match, Umbrino said. In 2017, New York law changed the DNA collected in criminal investigations to allow law enforcement to search family fairs, and the department requested a family DNA search to see if Whether or not the extracted DNA was a match with another.
In July 2020, family search results from the New York State Crime Laboratory generated new leads, which were limited to potential suspects, according to Umbrino.
Law enforcement confirmed Williams’ involvement with the additional DNA sample, District Attorney Sandra Dorley said, more to discuss the evidence.
Williams lived in Jerome’s neighborhood in 1984 and will be 20, according to Umbrino, at the time of Jerome’s death.
According to the Brevard County Clerk of the Court’s office, Williams had no defense attorney in Florida, where he waived extradition to Florida. He said he now awaits extradition to New York, where he will be produced in Rochester City Court for second-degree murder.
Investigators who found the case particularly meaningful often continued to assist after leaving the department, Umbrino said. An officer had participated in the investigation since the initial report. Some people, such as Han, were children at the time of the murder, and they remembered it.
“Wendy’s story helped shape me as a prosecutor today,” Hahn said.
Umbrino wiped tears, as he told investigators to meet Jerome’s mother on Thursday night that Williams had been arrested.
“Marlene, I’m sorry it took so long, but we finally did,” Umbrino said, his voice cracking as he hugged her.