Pompano Beach, Florida – Solving cold cases can require a significant amount of time, resources, and expertise, and they are generally considered to be a significant challenge for authorities because the longer a case goes unsolved, the more difficult it can be for law enforcement agencies to investigate and solve them.
Cold cases can be handled by a variety of law enforcement agencies, depending on the jurisdiction where the crime occurred. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that they were able to solve a 28-year-old case, although they are unable to bring the person responsible for the murder to justice.
They solved the case of a former teacher, Lillian DeCloe, who was killed at her home in Pompano Beach in April 1994 at the age of 89. The investigation then showed that a person broke into her home, sexually assaulted her, and then strangled her to death. The only evidence besides the visible signs of forced entry into the home was the semen of the attacker that was left on the victim’s nightgown that helped them in developing a profile of the attacker, but at that time, they were not able to identify a suspect.
The case remained unsolved until recently, when, after searching the DNA database, investigators determined that the DNA of a known offender who had served a prison term in Florida partially matched with the DNA evidence collected from DeCloe’s nightgown, indicating that they are close relatives. This new trace led authorities to a person who was residing near DeCloe’s home at the time of the murder, named Johnny Mack Brown. After exhuming Brown’s remains in August, they were able to match his DNA with the DNA from the crime scene.
Brown died more than ten years ago. He was a Vietnam War veteran who was said to have struggled with PTSD and drug addiction.
The findings of the investigation that Brown was responsible for DeCloe’s death were accepted by the Broward State Attorney’s Office.