FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A North Carolina woman who used to live in New Jersey has been charged in the 1992 fatal shooting of a 12-year-old girl.
Quiana Dees was found barely clinging to life after being shot on Washington Avenue in Neptune Township. The 7th grader was found in a vacant wooded lot. She had been shot in the head.
She died a day later.
Investigators kept looking into the case for the next 26 years.
On Thursday, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office announced it was bringing charges against a 40-year-old woman in Henderson, North Carolina. The woman was 13 at the time Quiana was killed, and is therefore being charged as a juvenile. Due to that, her name is not being released.
For Quiana’s mother, Penny, the pain was unbearable and would linger on for close to three decades. She’s held marches in her daughter’s honor to keep her memory alive, hoping for the day her killer would be caught.
“I am overwhelmed, I am joyful, I just feel relieved,” she told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.
Penny finally received her wish thanks to what authorities described as “good old fashioned police work.”
“They just never gave up,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said. “They shook the trees, interviewed dozens and dozens of witnesses.”
The suspect will be extradited to New Jersey and faces a maximum sentence of four years if convicted. She can’t be tried for the crime in adult criminal court because of statutes regarding juvenile crime at the time, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Neptune Township Police Department at 732-988-8000.