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DNA analysis identifies murderer of woman in Canada nearly 50 years ago

(CNN) — A Quebec case from nearly 50 years ago has finally been solved, according to a press release issued Tuesday by Canadian police, after they were able to match DNA from the murder of a 16-year-old girl to a deceased man whose body was buried more than 1,200 kilometers away in West Virginia.

romine franklin

Franklin Romine (Credit: City Police Department)

Sharron Prior was abducted on March 29, 1975 in the Pointe Saint-Charles area of ​​Montreal, and her body was found four days later in a vacant lot in Longueuil, according to police. Longueuil is located in the province of Quebec, across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal.

sharron prior quebec

Sharron Prior Credit: Conurbation Police Department

Officials from the Longueuil Police Department’s Serious Crime Division’s Unsolved Homicide Unit and other specialists used genetic genealogy to establish a DNA link between evidence recovered from the crime scene and a living American family. in West Virginia, according to the release.

Investigators found that a family member, Franklin Romine, was living in Montreal at the time of the murder and died in 1982. Romine’s remains were interred in a cemetery in Putman County, West Virginia. , according to the press release.

Longueuil police investigators obtained a warrant from local authorities and exhumed Romine’s body from the cemetery on May 2, according to police.

“These same investigators were able to oversee the removal of DNA from the suspect’s remains and later compare it with DNA found at the crime scene 48 years ago,” the statement said. “The results of these biological tests confirmed 100% that Franklin Romine, born April 2, 1946, was the killer that police had been trying to identify for nearly five decades.”

The results were immediately released to Prior’s family, including his mother, Yvonne, “in a private and emotional meeting”, police said.

As Romine is long deceased, the case has been dismissed and no charges will be filed, the press release said.

— CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne contributed to this report.