A Salisbury Cold Case Closed After 35 Years

SALISBURY, NC. — A headline from the Salisbury Post on June 16th, 1984 says: “She was one who made us laugh.”

A snapshot in time of how friends described Reesa Trexler.

“She was a wonderful person and we miss her,” says Reesa’s sister Jodie Laird.

The 15-year-old was found stabbed to death in her grandparents’ house on June 15th, 1984. 35 years later the case is now closed.

“It doesn’t bring Reesa back, but we have some closure to the case now,” says Sgt.Travis Shulenburger with Salisbury Police.

Police say DNA results identified the suspect in the murder. Police never said the name of the suspect because they are dead.

A search warrant obtained by WCCB shows DNA was collected from the remains of a man named Curtis Edward Blair this summer.

During the initial autopsy of Trexler, medical examiners collected a sexual assault kit, fingerprints, fingernail scrapings and other DNA. The sexual assault kit was sent to a crime lab for testing. Based on genetic, genealogical and circumstantial evidence, the warrant says Curtis Blair is a “very strong candidate to be the subject of the unidentified male extracted DNA profile.”

“With him being deceased I know we’ll never get all the answers that we want. At least we have the answers that we need,” says Laird.

North Carolina crime lab and a Virginia Based DNA technology company called Parabon Nanolabs were able to use new technology and DNA evidence to solve the case.