Crime Police Identify 17-year-old as Murder Victim in 41-Year-Old Case, Say Investigation Is Active
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The jury will now decide if Travis and Greg McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan are guilty of murder and other crimes in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.How jurors decide on a verdict could ultimately hinge on how they view Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery and was the only defendant to testify.
Police in Henderson, Nevada said Thursday a murder victim from 1980 has been identified as 17-year-old Tammy Terrell, who went missing Sept. 28, 1980, according to The Associated Press.
For the past 41 years, Terrell's body found outside Las Vegas had been referred to in investigations as "Arroyo Grande Jane Doe" after the desert area in which she was found.
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Henderson police Captain Jonathan Boucher said Terrell was last seen at a restaurant with a white man and woman after being dropped off at the state fair in Roswell, New Mexico.
One week later on Oct. 5, her body was found in Nevada naked, stabbed, and with evidence of blunt force trauma to her head.
Boucher called the case an active murder investigation following her recent identification, and said the police are "only halfway there."
"Now the pursuit of Tammy's killer or killers begins," Boucher said, according to KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. "We are seeking the public's help to bring Tammy's killers to justice."
Fingerprints and dental records were entered into national databases at the time, but the evolution of DNA testing is what led to Terrell's identification. In 2015, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created a digital rendering of what she would have looked like before her death, which included a tattoo of the letter S on her right arm and a birthmark on her back.
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The white men accused of needlessly chasing and fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery in cold blood in Georgia last February in what critics described as a modern-day lynching under the guise of vigilante law enforcement were found guilty of murder on Wednesday. Travis McMichael was found guilty of the most serious offense, malice murder, in the Feb. 23, 2020 homicide death of Arbery. Greg McMichael, his father, was found not guilty of malice murder but convicted of all other eight charges against him, including felony murder. William Roddie Bryan, a family neighbor, was fou , one count of felony murder, and one count of aggravated assault.
In 2016, additional testing was done with DNA samples taken from her body and revealed a match to two of her sisters.reached out to the women, who volunteered their DNA to confirm the initial tests.
Police said the women were grateful to finally learn what happened to their sister and encouraged anyone with information to contact Henderson Police.
For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below.
The Clark County coroner determined Terrell died of blunt force trauma and ruled her death a homicide.
Reports said she was stabbed and beaten to death, possibly with a hammer. She had facial injuries, multiple head wounds and puncture or stab wounds on her back. One of her teeth had apparently been knocked out.
Boucher credited Henderson police Detective John Williams, the initial investigator of the case, with continuing to work on it even after he retired in 2006.
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Three men convicted Wednesday in the death of Ahmaud Arbery each faced nine possible charges that stemmed from their involvement in the 2020 shooting near Brunswick, Georgia. But the verdicts rendered by the jury on some of the allegations differed. © Stephen B.
The police captain said he recently learned that Williams and his wife paid for Terrell's burial and still visit her gravesite on the anniversary of the discovery of her body.
"The amount of work Joe has put in is just astonishing," Boucher said, standing with the current lead investigator in the case, Detective Joseph Ebert. "Their efforts have finally paid off."
DNA helps solve 16-year-old girl's 1979 murder in Las Vegas .
Kim Bryant was sexually assaulted, killed and left in a desert in Jan. 1979. Police identified a suspect using DNA evidence and genetic genealogy. Your browser does not support this video Kim Bryant, 16, was kidnapped, raped and killed on Jan. 26, 1979, police in Las Vegas said. © Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Teenager Kim Bryant was killed in 1979. DNA has now helped identify a suspect. The teen was last seen at a Dairy Queen restaurant near her high school and was reported missing after she didn't return home, police said. Her body was found one month later in a desert area, police said.