A Mississippi man has been charged with the 1998 murder of his elderly grandmother in a case soon to be profiled on Oxygen’s “Cold Justice."
Now her own grandson, 47-year-old Sergio A. Williams, has been arrested on Mother's Day in connection with her murder, Picayune Police Capt. Rhonda Johnson told Oxygen.com on Thursday. While the "Cold Justice" team wasn't in town during the arrest, Johnson said her department wore GoPro cameras to capture the moment.
Jordan was the mother of seven children, a grandmother, and "well-loved by everybody in the community," Johnson told Oxygen.com.
"She would do anything for anybody," she explained. "Neighbors would say she would look out for their kids when they got on and off the school bus. She was an all-around good lady.”
Johnson reopened Jordan’s case back up last October and began reviewing decades-old interviews and evidence. She said the cold case was one of her main priorities after joining the Picayune police force.
Oxygen’s “Cold Justice” team assisted in the investigation, and brought "fresh eyes" to the case, Johnson told Oxygen.com.
"The main thing was the DNA," Johnson said. "We’re a small department with limited resources and we can’t afford to send that stuff off and just test 11 or 12 samples of one nightgown [searching for the suspect's DNA.] They ['Cold Justice'] did that. We got positive DNA on the nightgown."
The show arranged the DNA testing at a facility in March.
Police said the DNA analysis, combined with previous witness statements, provided enough evidence to make an arrest, according to WLOX.
“The horror of seeing how Leola was stabbed to death so viciously in her own bedroom in her nightgown at the age of 91 is what made everyone not want to give up,” "Cold Justice's" Kelly Siegler told Oxygen.com.
"Helping bring justice to a victim like Leola and her family while working alongside a department as dedicated as the Picayune PD is why we do what we do," Siegler added.
It’s not clear if Williams has a lawyer. He hasn’t yet entered a plea; his preliminary hearing is pending.
Tonya Rider, a former Toledo Police Department detective and "Cold Justice" host, told Oxygen at CrimeCon 2019 that the show had at that point contributed to more than 40 arrests. The show's efforts have resulted in around 20 convictions, including that of Robin Mendez, who bludgeoned his wife to death in 1982 at her credit union job in Wisconsin.
The "Cold Justice" episode on Jordan's case is scheduled to air this summer.
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