Solved: 3 cases with Central Florida ties

Solved: 3 cases with Central Florida ties

November 2, 2005
The Orlando Sentinel

Three cases with Central Florida connections that were solved with help from

The case: Ronette Lynn Peterson, 22, last contacted her Iowa family in a 1986 letter, saying she was headed for Florida.

The search: In January of this year, her sister called sheriff's Detective Kenneth Kendall in Boone County, Iowa, in hopes he could help find out what happened to Peterson.

"I didn't know how much success I would have," Kendall said. "But I told her I would do what I could for her."

The break: The site listed a female body found May 7, 1986, floating in a water-filled phosphate pit off State Road 33 near Lakeland. She had been hit in the head. The woman had a blue unicorn tattoo on her pelvis -- just as Peterson did. Peterson's fingerprints matched those of the body. Her killer remains unknown.

"She was kind of hoping I didn't have bad news," Kendall said of his Jan. 25 call to Peterson's sister. "I think she knew in her heart that something was wrong."

The case: Truck driver David Churchill Jackson, 24, walked out of his Pembroke Pines apartment June 25, 1988, and disappeared. His mother now lives in Lake County.

The search: Pembroke Pines police Detective Donna Velazquez was assigned the cold case in June 2003. While doing Google searches, she clicked on the site in December 2003. She typed in details about Jackson and found 50 possible matches.

The break: Bones that were found in Miramar, which is near Pembroke Pines, caught her attention. DNA from the remains was compared with DNA from his mother, Judy Carlson, 62, of Tavares. The DNA match was confirmed in June 2004.

"I always knew he was dead," Carlson said. "You want to know the answer, but after 16 years to finally get it . . . I don't think I'll ever get over it."

Michael Allen Wolfe, 59, of Ohio was married to Jackson's ex-wife and was charged in the slaying. His trial is scheduled for later this year.

The case: Cynthia Bredenkamp, 44, who lived on Holden Avenue west of Edgewood in Orange County, disappeared in November 2001.

The search: A volunteer with Doe Network, a national organization that uses volunteers to try to match unclaimed bodies with those reported missing, found a possible link. In October 2003, a volunteer used to match Bredenkamp's information to a listing for a body that had been hit by a car along Orange Blossom Trail near Holden on Nov. 4, 2001. The case remains open, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

"I knew something happened because she had not been in touch with me," said Bredenkamp's aunt, Edna Hooper, 71, of Anderson, S.C.

The break: Fingerprints of Bredenkamp matched those on the unidentified body.

It was the first case solved using the Web site.