Waterbury police have arrested a man suspected in the murder of a 16-year-old young woman in 2004.
Officials responded to 23-25 Pearl St. on June 1, 2004, after receiving a report of a woman found in the stairwell of the multi-unit residence. and they found a young woman who was later identified as then 16-year-old Jessica Keyworth.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said her death was a homicide and the cause of her death was asphyxia by neck compression.
Waterbury police said detectives have worked relentlessly on this homicide investigation over the years.
Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said the evidence investigators found included DNA evidence for forensic examination.
Through the investigation and analysis, detectives later identified Willie Robinson, 52, of Waterbury, as the person responsible for Keyworth's death. He was arrested on Saturday on a warrant and faces murder charges.
Robinson was held on a $2 million bond.
Spagnolo said he spoke with Keyworth's grandparents and they feel some relief that an arrest was made and they urge anyone with information to come forward.
The family was not able to attend the news conference because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but released a statement.
They said Jessica's death 17 years ago "was a painful, emotional shock to the family and all those who knew and loved her."
Statement from Family of Jessica Keyworth
Following is the statement from Jessica's family:
“Seventeen years ago, Jessica’s death was a painful emotional shock to this family and all those who knew and loved her. With the announcement of this arrest today, that sadness is still with us but in measured depths.
We would like to thank the Waterbury Police Department, past and current leadership, and detectives for their continued seventeen-year active criminal pursuit leading to today’s arrest.
While today’s arrest is significant, it is only the beginning of a journey leading to a legal conclusion. If any member of the public has any knowledge relating to this case, please come forth and contact the Waterbury Police Department and share it with them.
Thank you again to the current detectives….. Well Done!
God bless – Be safe
The Keyworth family”
Anyone With Tips Is Urged to Contact Police
Police are also urging anyone with information about the case to come forward and report it.
Anyone with information for the detective bureau should call 203-574-6941 or the tip line at 203-755-1234.