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Florida man charged with murder of 21-year-old woman in 1983

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A man who had long been seen as a person of interest in the murder of a 21-year-old woman in South Florida has been arrested after 38 years, officials said.

Ralph Williams, 59, was arrested Monday in Jacksonville and charged with the death of Carla Lowe, whose beaten body was found on November 13, 1983 by a roadside, Delray Beach police said on Tuesday.

Lowe was last seen waiting for a train at an Amtrak station in Delray Beach, the South Florida SunSentinel reported.

Detectives said they searched the area for hours but never found anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious.

On the same day his body was found, Delray Beach police arrested Williams for car theft and burglary, records show.

Williams’ criminal record shows more than 20 arrests across Florida on burglary charges; resist an officer with violence; theft with a firearm or deadly weapon; sale, manufacture or delivery of heroin and marijuana; and possession of burglary tools.

An attorney for Williams was not in court records.

Lowe’s sister told the newspaper the family are “forever indebted” to Lt. Mark Woods and Detective Todd Clancy for bringing them some closure.

“I’ve played this in my head a thousand times,” said Jackie Lowe-Repass. “I never thought that day would come. Now there’s a name that did this to my sister.

Clancy said that over the years there had never been enough evidence of a probable cause to arrest Williams in connection with Carla Lowe’s death. But new technology from a UK-based company later enabled them to identify Williams’ fingerprint on evidence at the scene, Sgt. Luis Skeberis said. He hasn’t developed.

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