Nearly 20 years after 10-year-old Andrea Parsons vanished from her Florida neighborhood a convicted felon has been arrested and charged with her murder.
42-year-old Chester Duane Price was arrested Thursday and charged with killing Andrea, whose body has never been found. The arrest comes after Price voluntarily returned to the area to give testimony to a grand jury in the case, The Palm Beach Post reports.
Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder said in a news conference Thursday detectives were led to Price after a team was assigned to review the evidence in the case last year.
“The resolve to find Andrea and get answers surrounding the circumstances of her disappearance has never wavered,” he said.
Price has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1991. He lived in the same county as Andrea at the time of her disappearance, and deputies said they had their eye on him from the beginning, according to The Palm Beach Post
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“We were aware of him from the beginning of the investigation … He was one of our people of interest,” Crowder told TCPalm.com.
Andrea vanished on July 11, 1993 after making a trip to a convenience store. She had been home with Pat Daniels, her mother's boyfriend at the time. He told authorities he had given her permission to walk to the store and to visit a friend because she was bored. She never returned.
The Palm Beach Post reports Andrea's neighbor, Claude Davis, told investigators he had seen men stuff Andrea into a car the night she disappeared. He then said he had been collecting cans with the girl when she hit her head on a trash can and died. He said he drove around looking for help, but eventually dumped Andrea's body in a trash bin.
Davis was charged with false imprisonment but the case was dropped in 1994 due to lack of evidence. He later served nine years in prison on unrelated charged, and told The Palm Beach Post in 2000 he did not know where Andrea was.
Crowder said Price and Davis knew each other, but declined to provide more details.
Price is charged with first degree murder and kidnapping of a child under the age of thirteen. He remains in custody at the Martin County Jail with no bond.