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Cold case murder suspect released on bail

Crime

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Central Falls man arrested in connection with the January 1988 death of a 10-year-old Pawtucket girl was released on bail Friday evening.

Earlier in the day, the state withdrew its objection to Joao Monteiro’s bail which was then set by the court at $50,000 with surety, according to the attorney general’s office.

“Based upon its continuing review of the evidence in this case, the State today concluded that it could not reasonably press its request that the defendant be held without bail. The investigation will continue and it is the State’s intention to present this matter to a grand jury,” a spokesperson for the AG’s office said in a statement to Eyewitness News.

To be released, Monteiro had to post 10 percent of that—or $5,000—and surrender his passport. He’s scheduled to appear in court Monday for a bail review.

Monteiro was arrested Wednesday night and charged with the murder of 10-year-old Christine Cole, which has been unsolved for more than three decades.

Cole went missing after leaving her West Avenue home to pick up groceries. Her body was found nearly two months later on the beach at Conimicut Point Park in Warwick.

Police believe Monteiro was unknown to Cole but said he lived in the apartment above the market where the girl was last seen. Recent DNA testing led investigators to him.

Target 12:What we know about Joao Monteiro »

Monteiro’s defense attorney William Devine said the prosecution did the right thing in agreeing to set bail, adding he believes the “charges were brought prematurely.”

“I don’t think the evidence is as strong as they think it is,” Devine said in a statement.

The cold case was included in a deck of playing cards created in hopes of generating tips for detectives and a family that never got closure.

“It ruined my family,” Shane Cole said Friday. “My mother, it took a big toll on her.”

Shane and his brother Clint were 4 and 5 years old when their sister Christine disappeared.

“We had everything, and then once all this happened we lost it all,” Shane added.

“It’s just wrong, and justice does need to be served,” Clint said. “She will never be at rest until somebody gets convicted.”

More Cold Case Cards » | 12 on 12: The story behind the Cold Case Cards »

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