COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has identified two men responsible for the 1974 murder of a Reynoldsburg teen.
In a statement released Wednesday, Yost announced that through modern DNA technology, investigators had solved the murder case of 15-year-old Lori Nesson, an honors student at Columbus’ Eastmoor High School.
Nesson was found dead Sept. 28, 1974, on the west side of Reynoldsburg. She had last been seen after a school football game the night before.
“Constrained by the technology available at the time, the case grew cold as investigators were unable to figure out what had happened to Lori,” the release states.
In August 2019, the Reynoldsburg Division of Police took a new look at the cold case at the urging of Lori’s family, and asked the Franklin County Coroner’s Office to re-evaluate the original autopsy. Reynoldsburg Police then submitted case evidence to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation in January 2020.
After seeing information on TV, a viewer tipped off police that Nesson’s case had similarities to the case of Karen Adams, a 17-year-old Whitehall girl found assaulted and murdered in 1975 in Blacklick. Yost said that lead turned out to be true.
After forensic evaluation of the physical evidence in Nesson’s case, the BCI developed two DNA profiles of her likely assailants. The two were identified as Robert W. Meyer of Cincinnati and Charles Webber of Columbus, both of whom are now dead but had extensive criminal histories.
“Justice looks different in this case – rather than a trial and conviction, this story seemingly ends at the identification of the deceased offenders,” Yost said. “But the memory of Lori Nesson will carry on through her family and friends.”
Yost released that before the attack on Nesson, Meyer was convicted of murder in 1963 and spent 10 years in the Ohio Penitentiary, where he met Webber, a fellow inmate. Both were freed in the early 1970s and are now known to be responsible for the deaths of Nesson and Adams, along with the kidnapping, assault and attempted murder of two additional young women in the northwest Ohio area. In 1977, the pair was convicted of those crimes and incarcerated.
“Families deserve answers, even when years have passed since they lost their loved ones,” Yost said. “This case was solved by pure determination by investigators, the application of modern DNA technology to a decades-old case and a well-timed tip from the public that proved to be true,” Yost stated.