Breakthrough in Pawtucket cold case gives new hope to other families seeking closure


PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — After hearing the news of a major breakthrough in a 31-year-old cold case out of Pawtucket, Jade Roberts says she has new hope her mother’s cold case will soon be solved.  

In July 2001, when Roberts was seven years old, her mother Cindy disappeared

That October, a hiker found skeletal remains in a heavily wooded area of Lincoln, near Route 99 and Old River Road. Those remains were later identified as Cindy’s, but the case went cold. 

Years later, Rhode Island State Police are still investigating who killed Cindy. As they do, her daughter says she’s in complete shock after learning another cold case in the state has been solved. 

“I honestly didn’t think we could get answers at 18 years. But 31 years. That’s incredible,” Roberts said.

Last year, Pawtucket Police Detective Sue Cormier reopened the cold case centered around Christine Cole. She went missing more than three decades ago after her mother asked her to leave their West Avenue home in Pawtucket to get milk and clams for dinner. 54 days later, her body washed ashore on Conimicut Point in Warwick.

Now, newly-tested DNA evidence in the case has led police to who they believe is Cole’s killer – Joao Monteiro, of Central Falls. Monteiro was arrested overnight and charged Thursday afternoon with Cole’s murder. He is being held without bail until his next court appearance on August 1. 

Detective Cormier says Cole’s case is one of 13 cold cases Pawtucket Police has been tackling for the past year. But across the state, local departments and state police are investigating many more cases, some of which have been highlighted in a deck of cold case playing cards. Each card details an unsolved homicide or missing person case in Rhode Island. 

Christine Cole is the deck’s Queen of Hearts. 

Cindy Roberts is the six of Spades. 

Jade Roberts says although she knows her mother’s killer is still out there, she has new resolve her family will one day find justice. 

 “I think I have hope because I just want it to happen so bad. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to do whatever it takes to find out.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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