URBANCREST, Ohio (WCMH) — A 30-year-old Franklin County cold case murder has potentially been solved, as investigators named a suspect on Tuesday.
Robert Edwards, 67, was arrested on Friday and charged with aggravated murder. Franklin County Common Pleas Court records tie him to the death of Alma Lake on June 3, 1991.
Edwards raped and murdered Lake before leaving her naked body in the village of Urbancrest in southwest Franklin County, according to the court records. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said that two people later found her body lying in the grass near Olive Street and Craig Street.
Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation forensic scientists were able to develop a DNA profile for the suspect, but the case grew cold when they could not match it to anyone. Yost said that changed when the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office got BCI’s Cold Case Unit to reexamine the evidence in 2020.
Using new technology, BCI’s forensic laboratory conducted advanced DNA analysis. The bureau then obtained a search warrant for Edwards’ DNA, and Yost said this follow-up investigative work paired with the new DNA evidence tied him to the murder.
The DNA profile also led to investigators accusing Edwards in the murder of Michelle Dawson-Pass, whose body was found on Nov 11, 1996, in Licking County in a similar manner to Lake’s. Currently, there are no charges in Licking County against Edwards for Dawson-Pass’ death.
Edwards is set to be arraigned in court on Aug. 17 at 9 a.m.