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Florida Man Charged With Murder 38 Years Later; New Tech Helped Crack Case

DELRAY BEACH (CBSMiami) -- Thirty-eight years later, police say they have the person who killed a Pompano Beach woman in Palm Beach County.

Carla Lowe, 21, waited for an Amtrak train at the old Delray Beach Station in November of 1983.

She never climbed aboard.

Police found her body in the road near the station brutally beaten and run over.

On the day she was found, a man by the name of Ralph Williams was taken into custody on grand theft auto and burglary charges, but they couldn't connect him to Lowe's murder.

"This case was picked up a number of times while I was still working and the advances in DNA and fingerprint technology were still developing, and we kept working at it," says former Delray Beach Police Lt. Mark Woods.

Carla Lowe
Carla Lowe (Source: Delray Beach Police)

With no relationship between Lowe and Williams and no known motive, detectives needed some solid evidence.

Decades later, it happened.

In November of 2021, the now 59-year-old was arrested in Jacksonville.

"We weren't able to get this fingerprint the old traditional way," says Detective Todd Clancy, Delray Beach Police Department. "They have a new machine out there that's able to get a fingerprint."

The technology used to crack this case is known as a recovery machine.

It analyzed a piece of evidence collected from the scene of Lowe's death and linked Williams to it.

Detective Todd Clancy is part of the Delray Beach police department's new cold case division.

Thanks to the new technology, solving this cold case is just the beginning.

"Once this case is done we will then go other the other cold cases that we have and prioritize them based on solvability factor people providing information to us," says Clancy.

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