Jose Ferreira, 50, charged with murder of Carrie Jopek, 13, in 1982.
A man is behind bars after police say he confessed to a crime he committed as a teenager, breaking his decades-long denial.
Prosecutors charged Jose Ferreira over the death of 13-year-old Carrie Ann Jopek, who went missing in 1982. Milwaukee television news station WISN 12 News reported last week that Mr Ferreira had called its newsroom.
“His story was very detailed – disturbingly so,” Chris Gegg, the station’s news director, told the Associated Press.
Mr Gegg has not elaborated no the nature of those details, but said the station called police because of “several red flags”. Mr Ferreira was later arrested in the case, which had long been cold.
The girl’s mother, Carolyn Tousignant, told The Independent she felt a sense of relief since she had learned that Mr Ferreira was taken into custody.
“It was like when they found her body,” she said.
The teeanger disappeared after she was suspended from school for roaming the hills close to their home. Ms Tousignant said her daughter got kicked out on purpose so she could go to a house party.
Ms Tousignant said the school called and gave her the option of picking the girl up from the office, but she chose not to because they lived only a few streets away.
The case went quiet until someone repairing an old deck at her home came across the girl’s body 17 months after her disappearance.
Mr Ferreira was himself a teenager when the 13-year-old died. He is now 50 years old, and it is not clear why he chose to call the television station. He appeared in court on Saturday, according to Milwaukee police.
Ms Tousignant said Mr Ferreira had been a friend of the family and had continued to come to the house even after the young girl disappeared. She said Mr Ferreira had even told her at the time that he felt “haunted” after she went missing.
“She was a strong-willed child. She always got her way,” she said. “I expect she was haunting him and saying ‘You’re going to pay for what you did’.”