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Updated: 8:19 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 | Posted: 4:58 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013

DNA links local man to 1985 N.Y. homicide


DNA links local man to 1985 N.Y. homicide photo
Colleen Meadow, 27, was found dead inside her apartment in 1985, according to police.
DNA links local man to 1985 N.Y. homicide photo
Ronald Meadow, 60, of Dallas, was arrested Monday in connection with his former wife’s death.

By Alexis Stevens

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ronald Scott Meadow was always the prime suspect in the 1985 strangulation death of his first wife. But it wasn’t until recently that investigators had the final missing piece of evidence needed to charge him with the crime.

Meadow’s DNA was found at the crime scene, a New York district attorney said Thursday.

It was risky decision to test the sample again because it could have destroyed the evidence, Onondago County DA William Fitzpatrick said, according to Syracuse media reports.

“There was some very, very low amount of biological material that (the lab) was willing to test, and there might not be enough, and (they) warned us the material could be destroyed,” Fitzpatrick told Syracuse.com.

But in the end, the decision provided the link needed to secure an arrest warrant for Meadow, who was arrested Monday at his Douglas County job.

On March 5, 1985, Colleen Meadow was found dead in her New York apartment after she failed to show up for work. Since then, her killing has remained a cold case for the Syracuse Police Department.

On Monday, Meadow’s estranged husband was charged with her death about 1,000 miles away in Georgia, according to police. Ronald Meadow, 60, of Dallas, was arrested while at work and was booked into the Douglas County jail, where he remained Thursday while awaiting extradition. He has been charged with second-degree murder, according to police.

Back in 1985, Colleen Meadow, 27, had legally separated from her husband and moved into her apartment to start a new life when she was found strangled, according to Syracuse media reports.

A native of Syracuse, Colleen Meadow was a systems analyst with Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, according to her obituary. She had an associate’s degree from Syracuse University.

At the time of his estranged wife’s death, Ronald Meadow claimed that he was driving through a snowstorm to his wife’s sister’s house, The Post-Standard in Syracuse reported. Ronald Meadow and the victim’s sister reached an out-of-court settlement to split a $50,000 life insurance payment after Colleen Meadow’s death, but the sister fought to keep him from receiving the money until the suspect was found, according to the report.

Although Ron Meadow had previously been questioned, he had not previously been charged in the case. He had always remained the prime suspect in the case, Fitzpatrick said.

Address records show Meadow has lived in the metro Atlanta area since the months following Colleen Meadow’s death. He is married to this third wife, officials said Thursday.

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