New DNA evidence leads to arrest in 2002 Athens homicide

Pamela Crisler, 49, was killed in her Athens apartment in 2002.
Pamela Crisler, 49, was killed in her Athens apartment in 2002.

An arrest was made Tuesday in an Athens homicide case from almost 16 years ago, authorities said.

Athens-Clarke County police arrested Abdus Salaam Laroche, 34, of Decatur. He’s charged with murder for allegedly killing Pamela Crisler, 49, at College Place Apartments on West Broad Street in August 2002.

Crisler was a mental health and substance abuse counselor.

Abdus Salaam Laroche (Credit: Athens-Clarke County Police Department)
Abdus Salaam Laroche (Credit: Athens-Clarke County Police Department)

In November of last year, detectives received new DNA evidence from the scene that identified Laroche as a suspect, police said.

Athens-Clarke County police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the DNA match was possible due to Laroche being arrested for a minor charge in another jurisdiction. For his parole, he had to enter his DNA into the GBI Crime Lab’s database.

He was taken into custody Tuesday in Clayton County.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Sgt. David Norris at 706-613-3888, ext. 556.

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