Friday, April 15, 2011 - 8:25am
MPD Cold Case Review Team Update
A First Degree Intentional Homicide charge has been filed in Dane County Circuit Court against Wisconsin inmate, Mr. Melvin D. Parker, age 47, formerly of Madison.
Mr. Parker is accused of killing Dorothy Paige, age 34, on August 24, 1994. Ms. Paige was found in the bedroom of her Allied Dr. apartment stabbed and strangled to death. Mr. Parker and Ms. Paige were neighbors and acquaintances. He has been a person of interest in this case since 1994, and was formerly charged with the murder in 1998. However, a key witness disappeared, and the DA had to dismiss the charges against Parker.
Last year, the Madison Police Department (MPD), launched a Cold Case Review Team (CCRT), and the Dorothy Paige homicide was the unit's first case. After reviewing the case, the CCRT recommended the case become an active investigation. Detectives re-interviewed witnesses and submitted evidence to the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory for forensic testing not available when the case was first pursued.
In the wake of the CCRT's review, and the results of the investigation, a criminal complaint was filed against Mr. Parker in Dane County Circuit Court on Friday morning, March 15, 2011. Mr. Parker is currently serving time for 1998 burglary and theft convictions out of Rock County.
Chief Noble Wray said bringing justice for Dorothy Paige illustrates the department's commitment to pursuing cold cases. While the MPD has always been dedicated to solving old crimes, the creation of the CCRT formalized the process. "We're taking a new and fresh look at aging cases," said Chief Wray, adding, "The men and women of the MPD are dedicated to achieving justice for victims and their families, no matter how much time has passed."
The CCRT is led by Capt. Jay Lengfeld, and is comprised of detectives, forensic experts, and crime analysts. The CCRT partners with many outside agencies, which in the Paige case included the Dane County District Attorney's Office, the Dane County DA's Crime Response Program, the Wisconsin State Crime Lab and the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ provided a $40,000 grant to help fund the CCRT.
The team meets as needed, and CCRT work is in addition to members' day-to-day assignments.
- Joel DeSpain, 266-4897