Arrest made in decade old murders

RALEIGH The Raleigh Police Department have charged Lontren Lawrence Walker, 34, with two counts of murder in connection with the 1997 death of Patricia Ann Harris and the 1998 death of Cleaster Prim.

On October 17, 1997, Raleigh Police found Harris dead behind a building on E. Martin Street at that location. She was 26-years-old at the time of her death.

On June 28, 1998, police found Prim dead inside an apartment on E. Lenoir St. She was 40-years-old at the time of her death.

Both victims had been strangled.

The murder cases had remained open and under investigation during the years. Raleigh Police do not close homicide cases until arrests are made.

In 2007, Raleigh Police task force members resubmitted evidence to the State Bureau of Investigation to be analyzed. Through analysis, the SBI lab developed a DNA link to Walker.

Walker has been serving a sentence on unrelated charges and was released Monday morning by the N.C. Department of Correction.

Detectives took Walker into custody on murder charges upon his release from the Johnston Correctional Institution. Walker was brought to Raleigh and has now been transported to the Wake County Jail.

Police say they are currently 19 homicides in Raleigh that have not yet been cleared by arrest. The oldest of those cases is the murder of Beth Ellen Vinson. She was last seen during the early morning hours of August 16, 1994. Her body was later located on August 23, 1994.

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