(UnitedVoice.com) – Cold Case squads across the country dedicate an incredible amount of resources to solve old crimes. These committed detectives want nothing more than to bring closure for families and justice for the victims. That’s what law enforcement in Vermont did for the loved ones of a school teacher killed more than five decades ago.
On Tuesday, February 21, the Burlington Police Department held a press conference, announcing they’d solved a 52-year-old cold case. In July 1971, police say 31-year-old William DeRoos got into a fight with his wife. ABC News reported the police said DeRoos left the apartment the couple shared to go for a walk. However, walking was not on his actual to-do list.
Instead of taking the walk, DeRoos allegedly went to the apartment of his neighbor, 24-year-old Rita Curran, and murdered her. The young woman was an elementary school teacher at a local school. According to law enforcement, she fought back hard, but her killer ultimately strangled her.
Curran’s roommate found her body later that night. Though her parents died without ever learning who killed her, the victim’s brother and sister attended the press conference where police announced the DNA testing of a cigarette butt at the scene led them to DeRoos. After the murder, DeRoos left the country and went to Thailand, where he became a monk. Ultimately, he moved back to the US. He died of a drug overdose in 1986.
NBC 5 reported Mary Campbell, Curran’s sister, said, “We now have two generations in our family who never knew her.”
One of Curran’s former students, Jim Robar, said she was beautiful and generous. He remembered participating in a play the year she was his teacher. He starred as a dancing clown who held a teddy bear. When the performance was over, Curran told him to keep it. He said he still has the bear somewhere.
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