26 years after an 11-year-old girl and her babysitter were found brutally murdered in their Florida home, authorities have finally found their killer.
In May 1990, Lisa Story and Robin Cornell were found in their apartment in Cape Coral after being viciously beaten, sexually assaulted, and suffocated.
According to The Daily Mail, Story, 32, had been taking care of Cornell on May 10, 1990, when they were both attacked.
Jan Cornell, Robin’s mother, had reportedly spent the night at her boyfriend’s house that night and asked Story to watch her daughter for the evening.
When she returned home the next morning, Cornell found both of their badly beaten bodies in her apartment.
According to NBC News, Cornell entered the house through the back sliding glass door, which was ajar, because the front door was locked.
She found her daughter’s body in an upstairs bathroom first.
Although hundreds of people have been interviewed and investigated over the years, authorities never found any real leads until they got a DNA hit last month.
Traces of DNA found at the crime scene all those years ago matched up with a man who had been arrested on suspicion of battery charges in August.
On Wednesday, 54-year-old Joseph Zieler was arrested and charged with the murders of Story and Cornell.
More than 25 years after finding her daughter’s body, Jan Cornell finally got to celebrate the arrest of Robin’s killer at a Cape Coral Police Department press conference.
“For 26 years I have just dreamed about this day, never knowing if it was ever going to happen,” Cornell said at the press conference. “I never lost faith and I never lost hope that some day we would all know who kill my beautiful daughter.”
“I feel in my heart that there is a god because I prayed for this day and could never let it go how he tortured and killed by baby,” she added. “Now they can rest in peace. Their day for justice is here.”
Although Zieler has yet to appear in court, he is now is facing two counts of sexually battery, two counts for murder, and a charge for burglary with assault.