Man charged in '96 murder of Oregon girl

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by AP

kgw.com

Posted on April 10, 2010 at 6:25 AM

Updated Saturday, Apr 10 at 8:31 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- A man considered a person of interest for years has been charged in the slaying of a teenage girl who disappeared while walking to church nearly 14 years ago.

William Frank Simmons, 30, was indicted on one count of murder, said Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston.

Simmons was arrested Wednesday night in Grants Pass on a parole violation stemming from an old drug charge. The murder charge was added Thursday morning. He was booked into the Jackson County jail.

Investigators have focused on Simmons for more than a decade. He was named a person of interest in the case in 1999, Huddleston said.

Kaelin Rose Glazier, 15, a sophomore at South Medford High School, was last seen Nov. 6, 1996, at a home where Simmons lived with his grandparents. The two reportedly watched a movie together when she stopped by the house on her way to a youth group meeting. Over the years searchers combed the rural area and sought national attention for the missing girl. In 2008, a man working on his property found Glazier's remains in a field near where Simmons lived in 1996.

The discovery reinvigorated the investigation, which included several agencies. Huddleston said the team reviewed original reports and conducted new forensics examinations.

"They have worked so hard behind the scenes," said Vicki Kelly, a family friend and co-founder and executive director of The Tommy Foundation, a Phoenix-based group that supports the families of missing children. "I just rejoice that they handed down the indictment."

Kelly said the girl's mother was deeply emotional when she learned Thursday of the charge against Simmons.

The murder charge carries a life sentence with a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, Huddleston said.

Simmons has been convicted of first- and second-degree theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, identity theft and delivery of methamphetamine, court records show. He has been in and out of jail numerous times on probation violations.

 

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