URBANCREST, Ohio (WCMH) – With the help of DNA evidence, a family has a bit of closure on their loved ones’ 30-year-old cold case.
Monretia Crawford is the sister Alma Lake, who was killed on June 3, 1991.
This past Friday, Robert Edwards, 67, was arrested and charged with her murder.
Crawford said she is full of gratitude to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and is glad no one ever gave up on getting answers for her family.
“She was a go-getter, Alma… it’s Alma Renee,” Crawford said Tuesday when the sheriff’s office made the announcement of Edwards’ arrest. “She was a go-getter, a good girl.”
Crawford said she is the baby of her family but remembers her sister vividly. From braiding her hair to the laughs they shared, Crawford said her sister was special.
But her big sister’s life was cut short in a tragic way. Lakes was raped and killed in 1991, and for years, her family wondered why and where her killer was, but on Tuesday, received the news they had been waiting for.
Both BCI and the sheriff’s office credit new DNA evidence in helping identify Edwards as the suspect involved in the rape and murder of Lakes.
“The familial DNA and so forth, connecting those dots, the hours and hours of work that goes into that, was able to start to identify a profile,” said Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Rick Minerd.
The DNA also helped connect Edwards to another alleged victim – Michelle Dawson, whose body was found in Licking County in 1996. Edwards has not been charged in Dawson’s case.
The news that a suspect had been located created an array of emotions for Crawford.
“Painful because she’s gone, but joyful because they got him,” she said.
Crawford said she finds peace in knowing that the man she said caused her family so much pain is finally behind bars.
“We can all rest, and she can finally rest and my mom can finally rest,” she said. “He has to answer when that big book opens. He has to answer.”