The family of a Brooklyn, N.Y., high school student who went missing on Father’s Day in 2006 before her body tragically turned up days later may be one step closer to closure after authorities revealed that, a decade later, a man has been indicted in the case, the New York Times reports.
Chanel Petro-Nixon, then 16, had gone for a job interview at an Applebee’s restaurant just blocks away from her Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. However, the straight-A student never returned, and within a day, her frantic mother, Lucita Petro-Nixon, reported her missing. It wasn't until three days later that Chanel’s body turned up, strangled and partially clothed, in a garbage bag in the street outside her apartment.
Although the family pleaded for answers in the years since the tragedy, no one ever came forward. And so every year Chanel’s family held a memorial march in her honor.
On Wednesday, however, prosecutors revealed that Chanel had gone to meet a former classmate, Veron Primus, the day she disappeared. Primus, now 29, has now been indicted on murder charges.
According to the Times, authorities had eyed Primus as a "person of interest" for quite some time, but it was only in the past few months that they'd been able to pull together a case.
Primus is currently in custody in St. Vincent, a Caribbean island, where he was deported last year after serving prison time for assaulting another woman and violating a protective order that the woman had taken out against him. Primus was also accused of rape in the case but was found not guilty.
According to authorities, Primus also faces charges, unrelated to Chanel's case, of kidnapping one woman and murdering another on the Caribbean island.
According to the Times, the woman Primus is accused of kidnapping in St. Vincent, Mewanah Hadaway, told New York TV station WPIX that Primus had locked her in a wood shed for three months and showed her a news clipping about Chanel’s death.
New York officials are currently working to extradite Primus from St. Vincent, but they acknowledged that it would be a complicated process that could take weeks or months.
“It is a bittersweet day today for the family,” Lucita Petro-Nixon said at a news conference Wednesday. “Finally, we can see a little light at the end of the tunnel.”
Read more at the New York Times.