Carrie Jopek’s 30-year murder mystery may have been solved after a man long suspected in the crime has been charged in her death In Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The man also confessed to his wife and a TV station last week about the murder, according to the Washington Post.
Jopek was only in the seventh-grade when she vanished. Carrie’s body found in her own neighborhood by a carpenter remodeling a porch, which prompted the murder investigation.
Jose Edward Ferreira Jr., 50, had been one of several suspects years ago, but no one was ever charged until now. Ferreira made his initial court appearance over the weekend, and remains jailed on $200,000 bail.
After his confession, police solved the Carrie Jopek 30-year murder mystery. Ferreira faces a second-degree charge in the death of the 13-year-old.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 27. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, a law no longer on the books but which was in effect in 1982.
Prosecutors say the homicide occurred while Ferreira was committing one or more of three underlying felonies — sexual assault, false imprisonment or endangering safety.
Carrie Ann Jopek, who went missing in 1982 after attending a house party with other teens who had skipped school. The case resurfaced last week when WISN-TV reported that Ferreira called its newsroom and discussed the case in disturbing detail.
According to the criminal complaint, on Oct. 11, Ferreira’s wife went to West Milwaukee police and said he had confessed to murder and burying a runaway girl when he was a teenager.
That same day, he called the TV station and a crisis counselor. The complaint doesn’t mention the call to WISN but says Ferreira told the crisis center that he was 16 when he found himself at a house party with a 13-year-old girl, whom he called a runaway. He said she fell down some stairs, and that while she was unconscious he “had his way with her” before realizing she was dead.
Ferreira was arrested the next day, Oct. 12.
He told a detective that he, Jopek and several other teens had skipped school and were at house party, the same block on which they both lived. There was alcohol and marijuana. He said he offered her a hit of marijuana, which she tried, but that she coughed.
They agreed to go to the basement where he expected they would “make out,” he said, but then Carrie expressed reservations. That’s when, Ferriera said, he pushed Jopek and she tumbled down the steps.
When he found her unconscious at the bottom, he groped her breasts. When he tried to pick her up, he said, he realized her neck was broken.
That’s when, according to the complaint, he hauled her through the basement to an exterior cellar door, and access to the space under the rear porch. He spent about 45 minutes digging a hole, then buried her to hide the murder.
Ferreira told a detective he was watching when the carpenter found the remains months later, and that he saw the teen who hosted party, who was standing in the backyard, vomit.
A few days later, after the news of the grisly discovery died down, Ferreira knelt crying at the site, apologizing to Jopek until he noticed another neighbor watching and left. Hours later, police arrived to question him, and he said he followed his brother’s advice to deny any knowledge of the girl’s fate.
The girl’s mother, Carolyn Tousignant, said she has been praying for 33 years that this day would come. What do you think about Carrie Jopek’s 30-year murder mystery?