March 29, 1975 – Sharron Kim Prior

Sharron Prior, a 16-year-old student from Montreal, Canada, vanished on the evening of March 29, 1975, as she was on her way to meet friends at Marina’s pizzeria. Despite living only five blocks from the restaurant, Prior never arrived, sparking an extensive search by classmates and local authorities. Three days later, her body was discovered in a field in Longueuil, across the St. Lawrence River, showing signs of a violent attack, including rape and asphyxiation.

For decades, the investigation into Prior’s murder hit dead ends, with police suspecting multiple assailants but failing to make any arrests. The case remained a cold mystery, leaving her family and the community with unanswered questions.

However, in June 2022, technological advancements in DNA testing provided a new opportunity to revisit the evidence collected at the crime scene. DNA extracted from a T-shirt found near Prior’s body led to a breakthrough in May 2023. The DNA was linked to the Romine family from Charleston, West Virginia. Further investigation focused on Franklin Maywood Romine, a man with a criminal history, including a rape conviction, who had died in 1983.

The DNA match, combined with historical records indicating Romine’s presence in Montreal and Longueuil at the time of Prior’s murder, as well as a physical description matching eyewitness accounts and tire tracks consistent with Romine’s vehicle, conclusively identified him as the perpetrator. Due to Romine’s death, no charges can be brought, but the discovery has finally offered a semblance of closure to Prior’s family.

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