13-year-old Carrie Ann Jopek died in 1982. For over 30 years, her murder has remained unsolved, although the Wisconsin police did have suspicions that 17-year-old Jose Ferreira had killed her. Now, Ferreira has finally confessed, but not by going to the police: he called a local TV station to let them know that he’d pushed Jopek to her death.
According to WISN, Ferreira has been arrested and has already made an initial court appearance. And while Jopek’s family is relieved about this bit of closure, they’re heartbroken all over again over the loss of Carrie Ann, who was murdered for refusing to have sex with Ferreira at a party.
Jopek was suspended from middle school one day in 1982, and spent the day at a house party.
According to the complaint, Ferreira told police he remembers she agreed to go into the basement with him. But she tried to turn around on the steps telling him “I don’t know if this is a good idea,” officials recount in court documents.
Ferreira didn’t take Jopek’s rejection well. The then 17-year-old says he shoved the girl further into the basement where she tripped down the stairs and broke her neck. Ferreira buried his victim under the porch of the house they were partying at; her body was found over a year later.
Police initially suspected that Ferreira might have murdered Jopek—WISN reports that a neighbor actually saw him standing over her open grave soon after he killed her—but he claimed to be ignorant of the murder throughout the investigation, and he kept quiet about it for the next 33 years. Then, last Sunday, out of nowhere, he called 12 News with very a very detailed account of the incident. An account so detailed, in fact, that station workers immediately notified the police.
The Guardian reports that Jopek’s mother, Carolyn Tousignant, has been praying for the day her daughter’s killer would be found. Tousignant told reporters that she still blames herself for Jopek’s death, even though she knows that she couldn’t have done anything to prevent the teen’s murder.
Jopek disappeared after she was suspended from school for roaming the halls. Tousignant said her daughter got kicked out on purpose so she could go to a house party.
Tousignant said the school called and gave her the option of picking the girl up from the office, but she chose not to because they lived only a block away. It was a decision she came to regret.
“I blame myself sometimes,” the girl’s mother said. “She would’ve snuck over there anyway.”
Ferreira has been charged with second-degree murder. Prosecutors have asked that he be kept in custody and that his bail be set at a high amount because they worry the 50-year-old is a flight risk. “Now he’s gonna pay for what he did to her,” Carolyn Touisgnat told WISN.
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