DNA leads to arrest in 15-year-old murder case

(Source: Police)

Fifteen years after an Athens woman was brutally murdered, her killer has been captured.

It was at the College Place Apartments in August 2002 where 49-year-old Pamela Crisler was brutally murdered in her one-bedroom apartment.

“Obviously, this was a terrible crime scene involving a heinous crime,” said Sgt. David Norris with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

Sgt. Norris was assigned to the case, and just when it looked like it had gone cold, there was a break.

“At the latter part of last year, that’s when this new investigative lead came forward with this DNA,” said Sgt. Norris.

Investigators say 34-year-old Abdus Laroche had recently been arrested for an unrelated crime in DeKalb County, where officers obtained a DNA sample from him. It turns out it matched the DNA obtained from the murder scene 15 years earlier.

“We believe that he has confided in some individuals over the past 15 or 16 years, so we’d like those individuals that he may have spoken to, or talked to in regards to this incident, to come forward and contact us about it,” said Sgt. Norris.

Police tell us that Crisler did not know her killer and that Laroche stabbed her multiple times. The case is still under investigation and the motive remains a mystery.

“It was clear there was some type of struggle that occurred during the incident, and as a result of that struggle, Mrs. Crisler lost her life,” said Sgt. Norris. “I think the message is for the victims of the family to not ever give up.”

Police say they believe they know the motive, but they want to question others first who may have confided with the killer before sharing that information.

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