MARIETTA, Ga. – A man accused of raping and murdering a mother and her 13-year-old daughter in a Marietta apartment will go to trial – 32 years later.
Investigators found Sharon Brady and her 13-year-old daughter Samantha dead in their apartment at 132 Cole Street in Marietta on Sept. 12, 1986. Brady’s 3-year-old daughter was also in the apartment but unharmed, according to police.
The case remained unsolved until a cold case unit was established in Cobb County in 2013. Investigators sent DNA samples from the crime to a private lab in Salt Lake City for testing. The results led police to Ronald Lee Kyles, who lived in the same complex as the Brady family in 1986.
“Once we received that case in office, we went through the crime scene photos first and it was sickening. It was a case that we were driven to find some result,” said John Dawes, director and lead detective of the Cobb County Cold Case Unit, aka "Charlie 4."
Dawes and his team went to the crime lab and obtained 20 pieces of evidence that was still available, including blood samples and the original rape kits. He sent those samples to a lab in Utah.
Ten days later, they had a match.
“The DNA results were overwhelming—one in 1.3 trillion that it might have been somebody else... it was crazy-exciting,” the cold case detective said.
GONE COLD | Charlie 4: Cold but not forgotten
At the time of his arrest, Kyles, now 63 years old, was serving a 10-year sentence in Pennsylvania on an unrelated aggravated assault.
Dawes traveled to Pennsylvania, where the suspect was in prison for another stabbing. The Cobb County Cold Case Unit extradited him, to hold him accountable for his decades-old crimes.
Authorities returned him to Cobb County in May 2017 to stand trial.
“He looked at my jacket that said, ‘Cold Case Unit,’ and he knew,” Dawes said with a smile brimming with satisfaction. “They know when you come to see them from the Cold Case Unit that you found them.”
Kyles’ trial is expected to start Oct. 15 and motions will begin Friday.
MORE CRIME NEWS | Mugshot Gallery