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Who is Lillian DeCloe? An 89-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and killed in 1994; Vietnam vet now ID’d as killer

Who is Lillian DeCloe? An 89-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and killed in 1994; Vietnam vet now ID'd as killer

Lillian DeCloe, 89, was murdered in her Pompano Beach, Florida, home on April 29, 1994. Authorities say DNA evidence has identified her assailant as a Vietnam War veteran who once lived a few houses away.

DeCloe, a former teacher and nurse who lived alone, “fought for her life” after being “brutally” beaten and sexually assaulted, according to Broward Sheriff’s Detective Dave Towsley at a press conference Tuesday.

Who is Lillian DeCloe? An 89-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and killed in 1994; Vietnam vet now ID'd as killer
Lillian DeCloe

When DeCloe’s niece, who helped care for her in her old age, arrived at the house, she found her body on the floor.

The house had been ransacked, according to the sheriff’s office.

“For the most part, there wasn’t a single clue or witness,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said. The case went cold.

Towsley said that in 2004, the local crime lab began doing DNA testing, and that semen was recovered from DeCloe’s nightgown. However, there was no match between the recovered sperm and any DNA in CODIS, the law enforcement database, according to Towsley.

Police eventually turned to familial DNA. According to Towsley, authorities discovered that the DNA from the nightgown was a “first-degree relative” of a man whose DNA was accessible for serving time in a Florida prison.

Who is Lillian DeCloe? An 89-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and killed in 1994; Vietnam vet now ID'd as killer
An undated photo of Lillian DeCloe provided by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Johnny Mack Brown, According to the sheriff’s office, Brown, who died of natural causes in 2010, was determined to be the father of the man who served time. Towsley stated that Brown’s remains were exhumed and that DNA testing confirmed that Brown’s DNA matched the DNA found on DeCloe’s nightgown.

In 1992, Brown’s address was listed as around the corner of DeCloe, Towsley said. It’s not clear if Brown was still living there in 1994, Towsley said.

Brown, who was a Marine during the Vietnam War, struggled with PTSD and drug addiction, the sheriff’s office said, citing Brown’s family.

Towsley described the attack on DeCloe as a crime of opportunity and said it appeared to be a botched burglary.

Who is Lillian DeCloe? An 89-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and killed in 1994; Vietnam vet now ID'd as killer

Towsley claims that Brown was never on the radar of law enforcement in this case. He also stated that no other crimes have been linked to Brown.

June Nicholas, DeCloe’s niece who discovered her aunt’s body, said in a video released by the sheriff’s department, “I know wherever she is, she can sleep in peace.”

source:summarybio.com