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DNA evidence solved 16-year Mercer County, New Jersey, cold case, police say

Crack in Mercer County cold case brings some closure for family
Crack in Mercer County cold case brings some closure for family 02:03

EWING TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) -- For the past 16 years, Roger Julious has visited his older brother's grave on birthdays and holidays, but last week he said he stopped at the cemetery to tell his brother two men were charged with his murder.

"I came out here and said they finally got them bro," Julious said. "I was happy, I'm like wow after 16 years I never thought the case was going to be solved."

It was May 9, 2008, when police say Leroy Julious was assaulted near a carport in the 300 block of Hazel Avenue in Ewing Township. His body was dragged across the street to an empty lot and his pockets were turned inside out. The 47-year-old had severe head trauma and died on the scene.

"It was sad and hurtful to know that there's someone out there that killed your brother," Roger Julious said.

The case went cold and didn't heat up until last year when the Mercer County Homicide Task Force received new information and the case was reopened. Investigators said physical evidence was resubmitted to the NJSP Central Regional Laboratory, which included DNA evidence, and advances in technology helped crack the case wide open.

According to a criminal complaint, DNA evidence found under Leroy Julious' fingernails belonged to 36-year-old Breyon Goodman, of Trenton, and the victim's blood and medical insurance card were found inside the SUV Jason Howard, 41, was seen standing next to the day of the crime.

Both men have now been charged with first-degree murder.

"I wish my dad was still living, that really hurt him bad," Roger Julious said.

Investigators said a motive appears to be robbery because Leroy Julious was known to carry money.

In a statement, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin said: "For 16 years the senseless, cruel death of Leroy Julious has gone unsolved, but law enforcement did not forget and did not give up. We hope the charges bring a measure of relief to the victim's grieving loved ones."

"It brings a little closure that they're finally caught, but it's not going to bring him back to us, but it is justice finally served," Roger Julious said.

Prosecutors are still investigating the murder and are asking for the public's help. Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact MCHTF detectives at (609) 989-6406 or

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