February 01, 2019 11:29 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- The Double Initial Murders.
It's a crime spree that has stumped investigators for decades. The brutal murders of three Rochester girls in the early 1970s have never been solved.
News10NBC has new details never heard before.
During the month of February, Nikki Rudd is taking us Inside the Evidence in a story you'll only see on News10NBC.
Each victim was around the same age: 10 or 11 years old.
They were all abducted from Rochester, sexually assaulted and strangled. Their bodies were dumped in or near a town that started with the same initial as their first and last names.
Carmen Colon was found dead near Churchville. The body of Wanda Walkowicz was discovered in Webster. Michelle Maenza was found in Macedon.
"This is one of the biggest cases in Monroe County history," said Monroe County Sheriff's Sgt. CJ Zimmerman.
On Nov. 18, 1971, the body of 10-year-old Carmen Colon was found in a ditch on the side of Stearns Road in Riga.
"It's horrible, and it's disturbing," said Sgt. Zimmerman. "She was found partially clothed."
Colon had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
"Manually strangled from the front, meaning with the hands," Sgt. Zimmerman added.
"Any time that there's any sort of feeling in a city, in an area, that there may be a serial killer, people panic," said Monroe County Sheriff's Investigator Trevor Hibbard.
Sgt. Zimmerman and Inv. Hibbard believe this was just the start for a serial killer.
"Carmen Colon was the first one," said Sgt. Zimmerman. "Whoever would have thought something so dastardly was going on."
In the next two years, two more Rochester girls, also with double initials and in similar circumstances, were murdered.
"I don't think in a million years that's a coincidence," said Inv. Hibbard.
Colon lived with her grandparents on Brown Street in Rochester.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, 1971, she left the house to run an errand for her grandfather. She walked just about two blocks to what was then Jax Drug Store on West Main Street to pick up a prescription, but it wasn't ready.
Sgt. Zimmerman said, "Then she made the statement, 'I got to go. I got to go.'"
She left in a hurry and never came back. An hour later, a girl matching her description was seen running half-naked along 490 just east of Churchville.
"She didn't have pants on," said Sgt. Zimmerman. "She just had a shirt on and she was flailing her arms."
Dozens of drivers saw her.
They also saw a car backing up toward her on the shoulder of the road, but no one stopped or called the police.
"It hurts to know how hard she tried," said Inv. Hibbard. "Unfortunately, it wasn't enough that day."
Two days later, Colon was found on the side of Stearns Road by two boys riding their bikes.
Investigators showed News10NBC pictures from the crime scene that have never been released to the public.
"She was wearing a top, a shirt, and sneakers and socks," said Sgt. Zimmerman. "She had no pants. No underwear."
Investigators say Colon's pants and underwear were found just west from where the half-naked girl was seen running on 490. Although evidence was collected, it hasn't been enough to come up with a DNA profile.
"My heart hurts for Carmen and her family," said Sgt. Zimmerman.
The Colon family was devastated.
News10NBC found film footage of them at a press conference the day after Carmen's body was found.
The community rallied together offering a reward for information leading to an arrest.
Forty-eight years later, the killer has never been caught.
"There's a good chance the person's name is in these files somewhere," said Inv. Hibbard.
"All we need is just the tiniest of spark. That one puzzle piece," added Sgt. Zimmerman. "This case is soaked in gasoline. It just needs one little spark."
If you have information on the Carmen Colon case, call the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Tip Line at (585) 753-4175.
Coming up next week: the case of Wanda Walkowicz.
In this case, there is a DNA profile that could finally crack the case of the Double Initial Murders.
Plus, we'll show you evidence never seen before.
Click here to see an interactive map detailing the Colon case.
Updated: February 01, 2019 11:29 PM
Created: February 01, 2019 07:34 AM
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