The Carrie Jopek murder mystery may have finally been solved more than three decades later, police say. On October 11, a reporter from a TV station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, received a call from a man who gave explicit details about an unsolved murder case of a girl whose body was found over 30 years ago. The caller was identified as 50-year-old Jose Ferreira, and he later confessed to police that when he was 17, he pushed Carrie Ann Jopek down a flight of stairs during a house party because she had changed her mind about making out with him, WISN-TV wrote.
Carrie Ann Jopek, who was 13 at the time, died when her neck snapped after hitting her head. According to New York Daily News, Ferreira allegedly admitted to raping her unconscious body and then burying her in the yard.
The cold case was brought back into the spotlight last week when WISN-TV reported that Ferreira called its newsroom and discussed the case. Shortly after the gruesome details were revealed, the station contacted authorities. Ferreira was arrested a short time later, and he now faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of Carrie Ann Jopek, who disappeared in 1982 after attending a house party with other teens who had skipped school.
“His story was very detailed — disturbingly so,” Chris Gegg, the station’s news director, said in a statement emailed to the Associated Press on Sunday.
— Journal Sentinel (@journalsentinel) October 19, 2015
Jopek disappeared after she was suspended from school because officials saw her out of class, roaming the halls. Carrie’s mother, Carolyn Tousignant, said her daughter got suspended on purpose because she desperately wanted to go to that party. When they called her mother to pick her up from school, Tousignant chose to let her walk back alone since their house was such a short distance away from the school. Carrie never arrived.
“I blame myself sometimes,” a tearful Tousignant said. “She would’ve snuck over there anyway.”
According to a report from the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, the teen’s body was found in her own neighborhood by a carpenter remodeling a porch, about 17 months after she disappeared. Police had few leads at the time, but they did say Ferreira had been one of several suspects in the girl’s murder. However, no one has been charged until now.
Past clips about cold case of Carrie Ann Jopek. Now a suspect, Jose Ferreira, has been charged pic.twitter.com/v3JhIvQKWU
— Ashley Luthern (@aluthern) October 19, 2015
Saturday, a week after his call, Ferreira was officially charged with murder. The confession marked the end of a long investigation into what happened to Carrie.
Jose Ferreira appeared in court Saturday, and remains detained at the Milwaukee County Jail. Carolyn told the local news station that her daughter’s death always bothered her because she always had a gut feeling Ferreira was involved.
“I never put it out of my mind,” Carolyn said. “Every time I watch ‘Cold Case’ ” or some other detective show, I would hope and pray one of these days we get the person who did that to Carrie. I miss her so much.”
Although it seems that the Carrie Jopek murder mystery has been solved 33 years later, Joy Hammond, a Milwaukee County assistant district attorney, said there are still unanswered questions and many concerns with the case.
“He could flee and not come back for court at this point, we ask for a high-cash bail given the severity of the offense,” Hammond said.
Authorities are still trying to figure out why Jose Ferreira decided to wait so long before confessing to the heinous murder. Tousignant told news reporters that she believes he confessed because her daughter was “haunting” him.
“He said he did it. He admit it finally after how long? Thirty-three years,” Tousignant said. “Now he’s gonna pay for what he did to her.”
[Image via YouTube screenshot]