A 61-year-old man has been charged with the 1993 rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl who was found dead and tied to a tree.
On June 5, Earl Webster Cox was charged with murder, kidnapping and sodomy, 25 years after 9-year-old Angie Housman disappeared after getting off a school bus less than a block from her St. Ann, Missouri, home, KMOV, KDSK and the Washington Post report.
Angie went missing on Nov. 18, 1993. Her body was found nine days later tied to a tree in the woods. She had been kidnapped, sexually assaulted and left to die.
Investigators believe Cox — who was identified after recent DNA testing of evidence found at the scene ��� kidnapped Angie after she got off her school bus and brought her to an undisclosed location, where he held her for a period of time. Cox then allegedly took her to the August A. Busch Wildlife area, sexually assaulted her and left her to die.
When her body was found on Nov. 27, 1993, she had been dead for several hours, investigators said at the time, KMOV reports.
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Cox was not a suspect originally, according to the station. It was only after a St. Charles County forensic scientist analyzed pieces of clothing found at the scene for DNA earlier this year that two matches came back: one belonging to Angie, the other to Cox.
Following the announcement of charges on June 6, St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar told reporters it’s possible Cox did not act alone.
“The way the evidence unfolded at the crime scene, the way she clearly was held for a period of time at a particular location, and then transported to the woods, which was obviously another location; just some other things we observed at the crime scene, it would lead us to believe he did not act alone,” Lohmar told reporters, according to KMOV. “That doesn’t mean that he didn’t act alone, but there’s a hunch for all of these guys involved that there could possibly be another person involved.”
Cox has a long criminal history, including being convicted of child sexual assault.
In 2012, while imprisoned in North Carolina for multiple charges including possession of child pornography, Cox was deemed a “sexually dangerous person” under the Adam Walsh Act, which allows authorities to keep inmates behind bars for longer than their original sentence. Although he was originally supposed to be released in 2011, he will now be extradited from North Carolina back to Missouri later this week, according to KMOV.
It is unclear whether Cox has an attorney to comment on his behalf on the recent charges. It was also unclear if he has entered a plea.