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I-Team: Brockton murders, rapes linked to same man remain unsolved

I-Team: Brockton murders, rapes linked to same man remain unsolved
I-Team: Brockton murders, rapes linked to same man remain unsolved 04:25

BROCKTON - It was December 28, 2014, when a man walking his dog on a wooded trail in Brockton stumbled upon two sets of human remains. One appeared to be dismembered. William Scott was at the VFW near the trail where the victims were discovered and remembers that day. Scott told the I-Team, the police, "found a woman and another woman on top of her half buried in the dirt on the trail. The case kind of disappeared nobody talks about it anymore and no one ever got caught for it."

Prosecutors at the time said the women had been arrested for prostitution in the past and struggled with substance use disorder.

While the killer has not been arrested, police were able to identify the body of 20-year-old Ashley Mylette and the skeletal remains of 50-year-old Linda Schufeldt. The I-Team tracked down one of Linda's closest high school friends. Debbie Soderholm says Linda had a very rough family life. The two formed a bond that would last decades.

Brockton bodies found
Police search the area where two bodies were found in Brockton, Dec. 29, 2014. CBS Boston

Debbie says the last message she got from Linda was on June 10, just weeks before she disappeared. "I don't believe she was back on the streets because she was trying to turn her life around, she was in school at that time," Debbie said. "She just made some bad choices and she always ended up with abusive men. It's hard to say what happened to her, it's sad, it is very sad."

DNA found at the crime scene showed that Linda and Ashley were killed by the same man. Prosecutors say that DNA also linked him to three violent rapes in Brockton in late 2013 and early 2014.

In 2017, investigators turned to scientists who used the suspect's DNA to create a profile of what he might look like, predicting his skin, hair and eye color. Detectives even looked for a match on genealogy websites. But had no luck.

Brockton killer profile
DNA profile of man suspected of killing two women in Brockton Parabon NanoLabs

Parabon NanoLabs in Virginia did the profiling. Dr. Ellen Greytak, Director of Bioinformatics, tells the I-Team, even though the DNA has not come back with a match, there is still hope the case will be solved.

"There are so many cold cases out there that have DNA and just have not been able to be solved yet, and they're cold for a reason," Dr. Greytak said. "I mean there just isn't enough information to connect that person to that crime scene. But the DNA is still there. The DNA data is the connection. And as long as we can continue analyzing those DNA samples, eventually a lot of these cases can be solved."

Northeastern University criminology professor James Alan Fox wrote "Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder."

He tells the I-Team the FBI considers this suspect a serial killer. "They kill for fun, for pleasure, it makes them feel good," Fox said. "That kind of individual has very little trouble finding victims. By an offer of money or drugs, will put themselves in harm's way."

"Serial killers will tend to discard their victims in places they will hope will not be found," Fox continued. "It's likely he will continue unless captured, it could be that he is in another state doing something similar. We don't know."

Now nearly a decade after the killings, not knowing where he is or how the women ended up with him, continues to haunt Debbie, who hasn't given up hope that one day there will be justice. "What happened you know, only God knows and the one that murdered her and Linda know you know what happened that night," Debbie said. "She was a human being. She does not deserve any less than that."

Beth Stone a spokesperson for the Plymouth County District Attorney tells the I-Team, "Massachusetts State Police and Brockton Police continue to investigate the 2014 deaths of Ashley Mylette and Linda Schufeldt, in connection with three violent rapes which occurred in Brockton in 2013. If anyone has any information regarding these cases, please contact the State Police Tip Line at the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office at (508) 894-2584." 

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