MILWAUKEE -- A man serving time in an Iowa prison has been linked to a murder in Wisconsin after a cold case 17 years old.
Antonio S. Johnson, 34, was convicted in Scott County for Robbery in the 1st Degree, a felony. He's currently being held at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.
Johnson has now also been charged for the murder of a 21-year-old Wisconsin man in 2002, according to WITI in Milwaukee.
Authorities said Antonio S. Johnson, 34, killed Reid on that July day. Police gathered DNA evidence, ballistic evidence, along with several rounds of interviews during their investigation.
The breakthrough was, in part, was due to Reid's sister's persistence.
Courtnee Patterson was 11 years old at the time of the homicide, and she sought justice for more than 16 years. She said she "never gave up hope" her brother's killer would be found.
"I'm just glad that they got him finally. I felt like it's a chapter closed, but I'll never stop grieving. I'll always grieve over him," said Patterson.
"Courtnee called quite a bit -- maintained regular phone conversations with her, which got my partner and I looking at the case quite often," said Nathan Butz, an MPD Cold Case Unit detective.
Butz and Hutchinson said they often field calls from relatives of loved ones who have been killed. They were happy to tell not just Patterson the news, but the four families of the cases they helped solve.
"Being able to call a person, a family member, and give them this just, incredible news is probably one of the best parts of my job -- to let them, after all these years, have some semblance of answers," said James Hutchinson, MPD Cold Case Unit detective.
In Reid's case, DNA was found on a baseball cap in 2002 inside the suspect vehicle. A criminal complaint said investigators then matched his DNA using a cup the defendant had used. Witnesses reported seeing the defendant wearing that same baseball cap the night of the shooting.
A criminal complaint indicated investigators conducted several rounds of interviews primarily in 2002 and again in 2008.
"They really worked hard to get this done for me and my family," said Patterson.
Sara Hill works as an Assistant District Attorney at the District Attorney's Office. She prepared the criminal complaint against Johnson. She said time can affect cases like Reid's in witnesses being more compliant with investigators.
"Often times people who witness homicides are very fearful," said Hill. "But maybe many years later, that person is no longer in close geographic proximity to them, maybe they no longer have a loyalty to them."
While Hill did not elaborate on the "break" in this case because it is on-going, the criminal complaint alleges that witness testimony matched against DNA evidence, makes investigators believe they have their guy.
"We work together on bringing these cases to justice," said Hill.