Pennsylvania man charged in spouse’s 1983 chilly case homicide


A Pennsylvania man was arrested within the chilly case homicide of his spouse greater than 30 years in the past.

Carl Rodgers, 62, is being accused of fatally beating his spouse, 23-year-old Debra Rodgers, then slashing her wrists to make it seem she dedicated suicide.

“For more than three decades, the family and friends of Debra Jane Rodgers have sought justice, and wondered if this day would ever come,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro mentioned in an announcement Tuesday. “Thanks to a strong collaboration between the Pennsylvania State Police and our office, and the effective use of a statewide investigating grand jury, Carl Rodgers stands charged with murder.”

Rodgers’ physique was found in April 1983 in woods close to the couple’s dairy farm in Loysville, Pennsylvania, the place they lived with their 5 yr previous daughter.


On the night time of her disappearance Debra returned dwelling late from her job at Little Buffalo State Forest close to the couple’s dwelling. The statements given by Carl Rodgers to the police concerning the night of April 22, 1983 have been inconsistent, Shapiro mentioned within the press launch. He claimed his spouse suffered from despair and admitted they’d argued that night time and he grabbed her by the arm.

The day after her disappearance, Carl Rodgers known as Debra’s household and instructed them she was lacking. He led the household to the state forest to seek for her, the place they discovered Debra’s automobile, Shapiro mentioned.

The search was known as off that night time with out discovering Debra however Carl insisted he drive Debra’s automobile again to their dwelling regardless of pleas from the household to maintain it there in case she was utilizing it as a shelter, the district lawyer’s badertion mentioned.

During the second day of looking, Debra’s mom discovered the physique in a closely wooded space Carl urged the household search that was a number of hundred yards from the place her automobile was parked, Shapiro mentioned.


Investigators famous Debra’s physique seemed to be dragged to the placement and a knife was discovered close to the scene that’s sheath bore the title “Carl,” Shapiro added.

A coroner on the time decided she died of blunt pressure trauma to the pinnacle, and mentioned her wrists have been reduce after the very fact “to imply suicidal activity.”

The grand jury mentioned it heard testimony that Debra Rodgers excelled at her job, had lately landed one other state job that paid more cash, and appeared completely satisfied, contradicting her husband’s claims.

“The grand jury finds that Carl Rodgers concocted all the claims that Debra was depressed as well as the claims that she was struggling at work in order to support his efforts to make her death appear to be a suicide and not a homicide. He was the only individual with the motive to make her death appear to be a suicide,” the grand jury mentioned.

The grand jury didn’t hear any proof that was unavailable to police and prosecutors in 1983, and it was unclear why expenses weren’t introduced on the time.

Carl Rodgers was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police Monday on homicide expenses and is being held with out bail.

Attorney General Shapiro, who was joined by Debra Rodgers’ members of the family at a information convention Tuesday, mentioned the grand jury took a contemporary take a look at the case and pieced the proof collectively “in a way that had previously not been able to be done.”

“We don’t give up on these cold cases. We don’t let them go,” he mentioned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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