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Quebec police solve nearly 50-year-old cold case murder of teenager using DNA advancements

Police in Canada said Tuesday they have solved one of the highest-profile cold cases in Quebec history.

Police in Longueuil, Quebec made the announcement during a press conference, saying they had identified the person responsible for the murder of Sharron Prior.

Prior was just 16 years old when she was abducted and raped after setting out to meet friends at a pizza parlor near her home in Montreal’s Pointe-St-Charles neighborhood.

She went missing on March 29, 1975, and found dead four days later.

Investigators learned that a male member of the family in West Virginia, identified as Franklin Romine, was living in Montreal when Prior was murdered. Romine died in Montreal in 1982, though his remains were buried in West Virginia.

On May 2, 2023, after obtaining a warrant, investigators exhumed Romine’s body from a Putnam County, West Virginia cemetery.

A pipette drops DNA into a blue vial

Pipette placing sample into vial for extracting DNA evidence in forensic lab. (Andrew Brookes via Getty Images)

A biologist accompanied the investigators, who extracted DNA from the remains and compared it to DNA found at the crime scene 48 years ago.

The elder Prior held several public outings over the years to ensure her daughter’s tragic story was never forgotten.

Because Romine was deceased, investigators closed the cold case and will not pursue any charges in court.


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