REIDSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — Police have announced that a nearly 30-year-old cold case in the Piedmont Triad has been solved with the help of the State Crime Lab and the State Bureau of Investigation.

Police announced that they had made an arrest in the 1994 death of Edward Ware. Evidence was retested by the State Crime Lab earlier this year to help identify a suspect in Ware’s death.

“We’re here today because we’ve had a breakthrough in a 1994 cold case homicide,” Chief Ray Gibson said at a press conference on Wednesday morning.

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Edward Ware (photograph provided by the Reidsville Police Department)

Oh May 7, 1994, Reidsville Police Department responded to a homicide on South Harris Street. When they arrived on the scene, they found Edward Ware, who was dead.

In February of 2023, Investigator Joseph Collins was assigned to Ware’s case and began to review the case with a special agent from the SBI, and met with them to request information on what had been examined in the case and to find out if there was anything they could do now that they hadn’t been able to do in the past.

As a result, a program for analyzing DNA called StarMix was used on existing evidence, giving the officials a suspect. With this evidence, they were able to issue a warrant for arrest for first-degree murder for Ware’s nephew, Johnny Ware, who is currently in Georgia state prison for an unrelated homicide charge.

Due to the pending court case, many specifics couldn’t be discussed.

Kevin Jones of the SBI said that he and other agents are “honored” to help bring closure to Edward Ware’s family, who Chief Gibson and Investigator Collins said were happy to know that the case may have been solved.

Jones also expressed pride in their local law enforcement partners.

“I want to give families out there looking for hope and seeking justice that their family members are not forgotten.”

“Congratulations to the Reidsville Police Department,” Amanda Thompson, assistant director of the State Crime Lab said, before sharing Attorney General Josh Stein’s statement on his behalf.

“It’s the commitment and dedication of these law enforcement officers and scientists to work this case over the years that we’re finally about to move this cold case forward in pursuit of justice for Edward Ware.

“With partnership, persistence, and the power of DNA, we can send powerful messages. To the victims of these crimes and their families – we say that we take these crimes seriously and we will not stop seeking justice for you. To the public – we say that we will do whatever we can to keep you safe. And to the will never stop coming for you.’ murderers and rapists – we say, very clearly, that no matter how long ago you committed your crime, we will never stop coming for you.”

Attorney General Josh Stein

Gibson said that they are working to facilitate a move back to North Carolina for the suspect, but it could take months.

“We’ll never give up on cases,” Chief Gibson said at the conclusion of the conference, thanking the individual investigators for their contributions to the case.