DNA testing has revealed the killer of a teenage girl murdered 35 years ago. According to Rochester police Capt. Frank Umbrino, Wendy Jerome, a 14-year-old girl was raped and murdered while sharing a birthday card in her area on Thanksgiving Day 1984 and her corpse was discovered near a school dumpster that night with “obvious signs of trauma,” said
Timothy Williams, the teenager’s murderer was apprehended at his home in Melbourne, Florida, on Wednesday, according to Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Julie Hahn.
I never thought I would see this day, and now it’s here. I just wish my husband had been alive to see this. He passed away in 2011 and I know he’s up there with her and they’re smiling, saying, ‘It’s over, it’s finally over.Marlene Jerome
DNA was extracted from semen collected during an autopsy in 1999 and the result was uploaded to DNA database of the FBI, but there were no matches, Umbrino said.
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New York changed its law to permit law enforcement to search for familial matches to DNA obtained in criminal investigations, and the department offered to have a familial DNA search carried out to see if there was a match with the DNA extracted.
There were familial search results from the New York state crime laboratory in July 2020, and this gave new leads that were narrowed down to prospective suspects, according to Umbrino.
Williams resided in Jerome’s neighborhood in 1984 and would have been 20 at the time Jerome died, according to Umbrino.
According to the Brevard County Clerk of Court’s office, Timothy Williams had no defense attorney in Florida. He awaits extradition to New York, where he will for second-degree murder.