FAR ROCKAWAY, Queens (PIX11) – Authorities have solved the 31-year-old cold case killing of a Queens teenager who was found strangled with her own bra in 1992, District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Monday.
Jerry Lewis, 58, of Virginia, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of 15-year-old Nadine Slade on May 7, 1992, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
Lewis allegedly strangled Slade using her bra. Slade was found naked by her mother in a bathroom shared by two apartments in a multi-family home in Far Rockaway, authorities said.
Lewis had been in the adjoining apartment that shared the bathroom the night before Slade’s death, authorities said. Lewis and the victim didn’t know each other.
Investigators broke the 31-year-old cold case after the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD requested the New York City medical examiner test for DNA under Slade’s preserved fingernail clippings. The test yielded DNA evidence that linked Lewis to the murder, authorities said. The investigation into Slade’s death also included multiple witness interviews.
“Any mother’s worst nightmare is to survive a child,” Katz said in a statement. “To lose a child in such a horrific way causes unimaginable pain. Not knowing who committed the crime compounds the suffering. In the end, we hope to achieve justice for Nadine and bring closure and some measure of solace to her bereaved mother.”
Lewis faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted. He was ordered to return to court on June 7.