Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

Canadian police stated Tuesday they’ve solved one of many highest-profile chilly instances in Quebec historical past, linking the 1975 rape and homicide of a 16-year-old lady to a West Virginia man who died greater than 40 years in the past.

Police in Longueuil, Quebec, stated that DNA proof permits them to be 100% sure that Franklin Maywood Romine murdered teenager Sharron Prior within the Montreal suburb.

The physique of Romine, who was born in 1946 in West Virginia’s second largest metropolis of Huntington and died in 1982 on the age of 36 in Verdun, Montreal below mysterious circumstances, was exhumed from a West Virginia cemetery in early Could for DNA testing meant to verify his hyperlink to the crime.

Longueuil police say the DNA of Romine — who had an extended prison historical past — matches a pattern discovered on the homicide scene. He additionally matched a witness’ bodily description of the suspect.

The rape and killing of Prior had gone unsolved since she disappeared on March 29, 1975, after getting down to meet mates at a pizza parlor close to her house in Montreal’s Pointe-St-Charles neighborhood.

Her physique was discovered three days later in a wooded space in Longueuil, on Montreal’s South Shore.

Regulation enforcement investigated greater than 100 suspects over time, however by no means made any arrests. Yvonne Prior, {the teenager}’s mom, is now in her 80s, nonetheless lives in Canada, and has spent her life trying to find her daughter’s killer.

Romine’s title did not come up in investigation till final 12 months, in line with WCHS-TV of Charleston, West Virginia. When Longueuil police stated began wanting via prison data, they discovered an in depth historical past of violence and makes an attempt by Romine to evade legislation enforcement by shifting between West Virginia and Canada.

Romine first tried escape from the West Virginia Penitentiary in 1964 and later escaped in 1967, in line with data obtained by WCHS. Two years later, Romine already had a Canadian rap sheet.

In 1974, he was arrested for breaking right into a home and raping a girl in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He was launched on a $2,500 bond two months later and fled to Canada, in line with an Related Press story from the time.

Simply months after Prior’s homicide in 1975, Romine was captured by Canadian border officers and extradited again to West Virginia, the place he was sentenced to 5 to 10 years in jail for sexual assault within the Parkersburg case.

He died in Canada in 1982, shortly after his launch, though officers say they haven’t been capable of finding a demise certificates detailing the circumstances that result in his demise. His physique was returned to his mom in West Virginia, the place his household buried him within the Putnam County, West Virginia Pine Grove Cemetery.

When Romine was exhumed final month, native prosecutor Mark Sorsaia known as the crime in opposition to Prior “probably the most evil component within the human race.”

“It’s a mixture of probably the most evil component within the human race, contacting probably the most harmless component within the human race – a toddler,” he advised WCHS. “Some issues are worse than demise – dropping a toddler like that, for a household, for a mother. To know that your little one died that means.”


Gillies reported from Toronto, Canada. Willingham reported from Charleston, West Virginia.

By Admin

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