Police in Racine, Wisconsin, have finally made an arrest in the 17-year cold case murder of Amber Creek. She was just 14-years-old when she was kidnapped, beaten, sexually assaulted and suffocated. The man in custody has been named as James Eaton, 36, of Palatine, Illinois. He was taken into custody some time on the April 6, reports ABC Chicago.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Eaton’s DNA Was Taken From a Cigarette
Cops in Wisconsin were tipped off about Eaton by authorities in Oklahoma. He was tracked by different law-enforcement agencies since February 2014. At one point, forensics were able to take DNA from a cigarette he’d been smoking at a train station in Chicago. When he was taken into custody, Sheriff Schmaling said the arrest was made with “solid, clear and overwhelming evidence.”
2. He’s Held on a $1 Million Bond
17 years pass. Now Sheriff's police say they've found a murderer through fingerprints.Amber Creek's death solved? pic.twitter.com/MbgWXkS7Nq
— Dana Kozlov (@DanaCBS2) April 8, 2014
According to Sheriff Christopher Schmaling in Racine County, Eaton is being held on a $1 million bond in relation to the charges. He wasn’t charged until a positive finger printing was made.
3. Amber Creek’s Mother Never Gave Up Hope of an Arrest
Amber Creek’s family had never given up hope that a suspect would ever be arrested in the murder. Her aunt, Nora Mowers, speaking to reporters said:
We are elated, absolutely, that someone has been caught in this crime. We’ve been waiting 17 years. After 17 years, my sister never gave up hope and my mother did not.
The Journal Times reports that when Amber’s body was found, she couldn’t be identified. It was 16 months later before investigators were sure it was the body of the 14-year-old.
4. The Case Has Been Cold For 16 Years
In 1998, police released a sketch of a possible suspect. That was the last significant activity in the case. They added that the car the suspect was believed to have been driving, had a placard reading “mayor” on it.
5. She Was Last Seen at a 2 Day Party
Amber Creek was last seen at a part in a motel in Rolling Meadows, reports The Journal Times. Investigators began to look into her connection with two Illinois men she was seen with at the gathering.