Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross called a press conference Thursday to comment on this week’s revelation that serial killer Samuel Little had confessed to murdering a woman found dead in Dade in the 1980s: There were actually two unidentified women found dead here in the ‘80s, he said, and the later one was definitely not murdered by Little.
”He has been cleared of that,” said Cross. “That DNA did not mention his DNA.”
Cross explained that the unidentified body associated with Wednesday’s splashy headlines regionally was one Little claimed to have murdered in 1981, but that another body had been found in Dade in 1988 that had started a murder investigation his office currently has open as a cold case. “We’re still trying to work that case,” he said.
The 1981 body had been found off I-24 under the administration of former Dade Sheriff Ronald “Cubie” Steele, said Cross; the one in 1988 had been discovered near Rising Fawn off I-59 during the tenure of subsequent Sheriff Philip Street. The scanty information available about the 1981 corpse was that she was a black woman Little said was from Chattanooga. “I know that a skull was found,” he said. “I don’t know if it was a full body.” Meanwhile, colloquial memories of the 1988 corpse were of a redheaded white female.
But Sheriff Street stressed several times that he had had no new information on either body recently: the news sensation on Wednesday had originated from a post on the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)’s website. “We contacted the FBI and they have not contacted me or the GBI to let us know anything about this case,” he said.
The sheriff explained that suspect DNA from the 1988 body had been compared with DNA of all known murder suspects in a national database and it had not matched Little’s.
Little, 78, was convicted in 2014 of killing three women. But this year, cooperating with investigators, he confessed to killing a total of 90 throughout the United States over several decades.
At the press conference on Thursday, Sheriff Street also said there did not seem to be any evidence linking Little even to the ’81 murder except his confession, and he noted: “There’s always people looking for fame or notoriety.”
He said the Dade Sheriff’s office would continue looking for any information on both the unsolved murder cases, including any that the FBI felt inclined to part with. As for tips toward this end from the general public: “Any leads would be welcome,” said Cross.
To contact the Dade Sheriff’s Office, readers may call (706) 657-3233.