Milwaukee man charged with murder in 33-year-old cold case

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 19, 2015 1:13 PM

By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A Milwaukee man has confessed to killing a teenage girl at a party and burying her body under a porch in 1982, a crime that went unsolved until he recently told a local television station and crisis hotline, according to the station and court records.

Jose Ferreira, 50, was charged with the second-degree murder of Carrie Ann Jopek, according to a criminal complaint filed on Saturday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

Jopek had been suspended from school that day, March 16, 1982, for roaming the halls without a pass. Instead of going home, she went to a house party. Her mother reported Jopek, who was 13 at the time, missing when she did not show up at home.

The complaint accused Ferreira of pushing Jopek down a staircase at the party, causing her to break her neck and killing her. He then buried Jopek under a nearby porch, where a carpenter building a new porch found her body in September 1983.

Four days after her body was found, the day authorities positively identified her, a neighbor told police he saw Ferreira standing over the hole where Jopek was found, crying, the complaint said.

At the time, Ferreira denied involvement in Jopek's death. He was not charged, though he remained a suspect, the complaint said.

On Oct. 11, Ferreira called Milwaukee television station WISN, an ABC affiliate, and said he was responsible for Jopek's death, the station reported after it notified authorities.

That same day, Ferreira called a local crisis hotline and told a counselor about the incident and his wife told authorities he had told her he killed Jopek, the complaint said.

The counselor told authorities Ferreira wanted the incident to be publicized and he was unsure whether he wanted to "go out in a blaze of glory or in silence," the complaint said.

Ferreira could be sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted. He is being held on a $200,000 bond, according to court records.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee)