Georgia investigators crack 1972 cold case murder of Debbie Lynn Randall who vanished while walking home from laundromat
Georgia authorities have identified the culprit in the 1972 murder of nine-year-old Debbie Lynn Randall.
This week, the Cobb County Prosecutor’s Office named William B.
Rose as the alleged killer in Debbie’s more than 50-year kidnapping, rape and brutal murder.
“I’ve learned over the years that there’s no point in hating or holding grudges,” his brother, Melvin, said at a news conference Tuesday.
Melvin Randall is the only living family member to hear the news. Debbie’s mother died of leukemia in 2018 while his father died last year.
“I would like to say that I wish my mother was here, but I know she knows in heaven now that it’s finally over and we just want to say that we thank you all for what you did to make This day is coming true,’ he said.
Debbie was returning from a laundromat late at night on January 13, 1972, in Marietta, Georgia, when she was kidnapped and murdered. Fifty years later, police say they have solved their cold case
“I’ve learned over the years that there’s no point in hating or holding grudges,” said his brother, Melvin.
“After a while…I blamed myself for being his big brother, and I fought against it for a while, but then I realized there was nothing I could have done, and It just happened, and it wasn’t my fault. I’m just grateful for the community.
Debbie was walking home from a laundromat on January 13, 1972, in Marietta, Georgia, late at night when she was kidnapped.
At the time, 4,000 people began searching for her and her body was found 16 days later near an intersection of Windy Hill and Powers Ferry Road.
Two young residents said a dark van backed into a parking lot near Debbie’s house and sped away. All that was left in the parking lot was laundry detergent.
The autopsy revealed that she died of strangulation.
Although the case baffled investigators for decades, crucial pieces of evidence, namely a hair and a piece of floral-patterned fabric, from her body had been kept safe.
This week, the Cobb County Prosecutor’s Office named William B. Rose as the alleged killer in Debbie’s more than 50-year kidnapping, rape and brutal murder.
The autopsy revealed that she died of strangulation. While the case baffled investigators for decades, crucial pieces of evidence, namely hair and a piece of flower-patterned fabric, from her body were kept safe.
Thanks to DNA testing, the piece of tissue was sent to a laboratory in 2015 which resulted in a profile of an unknown person.
Additional DNA testing in 2023 turned up Rose, who was 24 at the time of the murder and lived in the same apartment complex.
Rose committed suicide two years after Debbie’s death.
Cobb County Prosecutor Flynn Broady said at the same conference: “It may take us a while, but with new technologies emerging every day, we are going to do everything we can to solve our unsolved cases. resolute, to ensure that we bring people to justice.
“The response we make today will not bring her back. We can’t get justice from the culprit, but I know he must answer to a higher power.
Ron Alter, cold case investigator at the DA’s office said Rose had previously been arrested for alcohol-related incidents and may have committed suicide out of fear of being arrested by police at the time, even though he was not a suspect.
“If he passed by, I’m sure he saw her.
I believe it was a crime of opportunity. He saw her alone and kidnapped her,” Alter said.
The investigator confirmed that investigators used ancestry websites to find family matches for Rose from distant relatives and narrowed down their list of suspects from there.
The process is known as genetic genealogy and allows investigators to use the DNA of family members to help identify a suspect or the identity of a victim in an unsolved case. It’s a process made famous when it was used to catch the BTK killer in Kansas.
Crediting modern technology, Morris Nix, a retired Cobb County Sheriff’s Office detective who worked on the case, told WXIA: “Technology doesn’t age, it doesn’t retire, it doesn’t don’t get sick. And it doesn’t stop. Tech was looking for William Rose and found him in the tomb.