Kelly Prosser: 8-year-old's 1982 cold case murder solved after Ohio police identify killer via DNA testing

The police announced that Prosser's abductor was a man named Harold Warren Jarrell who died in the year 1996 in Las Vegas at the age of 67 years old


                            Kelly Prosser: 8-year-old's 1982 cold case murder solved after Ohio police identify killer via DNA testing
(Columbus Ohio Police)

The Columbus Police have revealed that they have been able to solve the murder of Kelly Prosser, 8, whose body was discovered in a cornfield after she was kidnapped in 1982. The authorities revealed on Friday, June 26 that the Ohio girl had been raped and murdered almost 38 years ago by a convicted criminal who has been dead for almost twenty years now, Fox News reports. The police shared that the cold case murder of Kelly Ann Prosser had been solved using DNA and genetic genealogy. The child had been beaten up, sexually abused, and then strangled after she was kidnapped while on the way home from school. 

At a news conference, the police announced that Prosser's abductor was a man named Harold Warren Jarrell who died in the year 1996 in Las Vegas at the age of 67 years old. In the year 1977, Jarrell had been convicted of a sex crime that involved a child in Columbus and was sent to prison for around five years, as per the Columbus Dispatch. Jarrell's name had never come up as a serious suspect or a person of interest in the murder of Prosser. During the homicide, a detective had wondered whether Jarrell had been involved but there was evidence that pointed to him, Deputy Police Chief Gregory Bodker said.

"Jarrell) was not on our radar at all as someone who committed this murder," Bodker revealed. "All of these years of this case being open and numerous detectives working on it, it is satisfying to let the family know what happened to their little girl though it doesn’t bring her back," Cold Case Unit Detective Dana Croom said, reports Fox 28 Columbus. "There are cases that stick with detectives forever and this is one of those for all of us," the detective added. Bodker also said, "Without the work of the genealogist, Mr. Jarrell may not have been linked to this case."

Prosser's family had released a statement that was obtained by the station. The statement read, "Gentlemen, thank you for never giving up, thank you for never forgetting about this innocent child, and thank you for never forgetting that you were working for Kelly Ann." Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin remembers the day of the crime very vividly. "When the missing (alert) came out, we all got called back to the substation and a lot of officers got called in," he said, as per ABC 6 News. 

Prosser was abducted while walking home from the Indianola Elementary school. "That was different because it was so serious. We came in and we would search an area and maybe not quite a block, but maybe half a block. A team would be assigned to it," he added. Around two days later, the child's body was discovered in Madison County. "You have kids at home and you think, 'my gosh, this could happen to them'," Baldwin shared. Baldwin said that he had received a call this week with an update on the cold case. He shared, "Glad that there is an answer and that it got solved, very glad, sorry for the family, very sorry," he revealed. 

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