Detroit cold case unit solves 22-year old homicide case
Detroit --Erica Ridley said she believes a police cold case investigation team has finally found who killed her father 22 years ago.
Now, she wants to know why.
Detroit Police announced on Wednesday the arrest of Anthony Diquet Phillips Sr., 44, in Woodbridge, Va. He is expected to be extradited to Michigan to face charges in the March 4, 1987, slaying of Lacey Tarver, 38.
"I would like to hear him say why," said Ridley, who was 11 when her father died. "How it happened, we've always known. Now, I believe we know who. But why is something we still don't understand."
Police Chief Warren Evans said Phillips was a suspect in the crime 22 years ago, but detectives couldn't get evidence to support a case.
The department's cold case team, which recently has resolved several old homicide cases, worked 10 months on having archived evidence from the crime scene analyzed with new science. Blood droplets and fingerprints lifted from a box of bandages belong to Phillips, police now say.
"We called him Tony," said Ridley, 34, of Redford Township, who recalled the night her mother, who was divorced from Tarver, took her and her twin brother, Eric, aside to tell them their father had been killed. "He was the brother of my father's girlfriend."
Police say a burglar broke into Tarver's home on Piedmont on Detroit's west side through a basement window. Tarver apparently confronted the intruder and was beaten to death before the bandit fled with stereo equipment.
Cold case investigator Sgt. Michael Russell said Phillips was surprised last week when arrested by Prince William County Sheriff's deputies in Virginia where he was living with his family, including several young children. Russell said Phillips told police he thought the incident was in his past because he had been ruled out as a suspect.
The case is one of several hundred unsolved homicides the cold case team has reviewed this year.
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