A 64-year-old man was arrested Monday in connection with the double murder of an ailing Harlem woman and her developmentally disabled daughter nearly 29 years ago.
New York City Police Department said Larry Atkinson was arrested for murder in the February 20, 1994 killing of 57-year-old Sarah Roberts and her 27-year-old daughter Sharon. WPIX TV reported.
According to the report, the two women were strangled in a bedroom.
Atkinson, an ex-convict, was the boyfriend of Celeste Cornelius, a health worker for Sharon Roberts. The New York Post reported.
The mother had emphysema, WPIX said.
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The Post said some items were stolen from the home, including a VCR and several hundred dollars in cash.
When the crime was reported, Cornelius told police they found the apartment door unlocked and discovered the women’s bodies, according to WPIX. There were no signs of forced entry.
Cornelius was investigated after the murders but was acquitted New York Daily News reported.
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According to the Daily News, investigators recovered DNA evidence at the scene, including a fingernail scraped by the mother and dried biological evidence from the daughter’s hand.
This evidence was recently reviewed by a New York City Police Department investigator, who linked it to Atkinson.
COLD CASE ARREST: 64-year-old Larry Atkinson was arrested for the 1994 strangulation deaths of a Harlem mother and daughter. Sarah and Sharon Roberts. #nypd #coldcase @PIX11News pic.twitter.com/yyIKXdNbHG
— Eileen Lehpamer (@ELehpamer12) January 24, 2023
The suspect has three aliases and 28 prior arrests, the Daily News reported, adding that he has served five stints in state prison.
Instead of taking the suspect to jail or court, Atkinson was taken to the Bronx Care Health System, where he is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
WPIX said he has been charged with two counts of murder and will be charged “as soon as medically possible”.
Cornelius still lives with Atkinson, and she has declared his innocence, according to the Post on Monday. “I know he didn’t do it,” she told the Post. “I don’t care about the DNA — none of that mess. He didn’t.”
Atkinson also denied any wrongdoing at the time of his arrest, police told the Daily News.
Juliette Wilson, 84, described Cornelius and Atkinson as very nice people.
“He brought me packages yesterday, clothes for my daughter from Amazon,” Wilson told the Daily News.
“He is a good man. I’m surprised.”
https://www.westernjournal.com/cold-case-murder-mother-daughter-gets-major-break-decades-later/ Cold case murder of mother and daughter gets big break decades later