Suspect charged in 2004 cold case murder of 16-year-old Connecticut girl

KATE FELDMAN, New York Daily News
·1 min read

Connecticut police have arrested a man they say strangled a 16-year-old girl and left her body at the bottom of a stairwell in 2004.

Willie Robinson, 52, was arrested Friday and charged with the murder of Jessica Keyworth, police announced Saturday, putting a hopeful end to a more than 15-year-old cold case.

“Detectives of the Major Crime Squad worked relentlessly on this homicide investigation over the years,” the Waterbury Police Department said in a statement.

Keyworth arrived by train in Waterbury around 11:30 p.m. on May 30, 2004, meeting a friend to return to school in Massachusetts.

On June 1, she was found dead in the basement stairwell.

“We’re so happy that we can bring some closure and justice for the girl’s family,” Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo told the Waterbury Republican-American.

“A lot of it had to do with a lot of perseverance by the detectives involved in the case.”

A $50,000 reward was offered for information on Keyworth’s murder and the case was included in a set of playing cards sold in prisons that has generated hundreds of tips, according to the Republican-American.

It’s unclear how police centered on Robinson more than a decade later, but Spagnolo told the newspaper they used DNA and forensic evidence.

Robinson is being held on a $2 million bond.