By William Tauro
“You can’t open a cold case if the case is already open and has a prosecutor and that this case won’t be worked on by the cold case team” is what the family was told on Monday by a cold case team member.
The Cremin and Rodgers Family attended a scheduled family meeting in the lower level of Saint Ann’s Church to discuss the unsolved Deanna Cremin‘s murder that took place 24 years ago.
The scheduled meeting this past Saturday with Middlesex District Attorney Miriam Ryan, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Somerville Police Chief David Fallon and Cremin and Rodgers Family members took place only a half hour before Deanna and Christina Cremin’s anniversary memorial mass began.
A family member, Albert Rodgers, Deanna Cremin’s father, told us through a family member that the meeting raised the family’s hopes of possibly finding out who murdered Deanna Cremin via a new Cold Case Unit that was announced last week by the Middlesex District Attorney Miriam Ryan’s office. But instead it only just raised their hopes briefly for a day or two until they got that news on Monday that caused their hopes to come crashing down.
Another family member also stated “Why did they bring up our hopes and schedule that foolish meeting at the church if they knew all along they couldn’t do this with the unveiling of their new cold case unit?” The family member also stated “Is it because it’s election time and they needed some media coverage or what?” “I totally don’t understand the the reality and cruelty of leading us on like that.”
District Attorney Mariam Ryan attended the memorial mass immediately after the meeting, but Somerville mayor Curtatone and his police chief left the church prior to the mass.
Deanna J. Cremin was only 17-years-old from Somerville, who was found sexually assaulted and strangled to death near her home. No charges have ever been pressed. The case deeply shocked the local community, and a $70,000 reward is still being offered for evidence leading to a conviction.
Below is the press release that was sent out last week by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office only a few days before the family meeting was scheduled for Saturday to take place at only a half hour before Deanna and Christine Cremin‘s memorial mass at Saint Ann’s Church in Somerville.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY MARIAN RYAN ANNOUNCES NEW COLD CASE UNIT
WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced the launch of a new Cold Case Unit. To lead the team she has hired an experienced prosecutor who will focus exclusively on solving the County’s oldest and most challenging cases. The Unit will investigate unsolved homicides, suspicious deaths where foul play is suspected and missing persons cases.
“I know the enormous hole the loss of a loved one leaves in the life of a family, and I’m determined to do everything I can for every family who has waited years for answers,” District Attorney Ryan said. “This is a new and aggressive approach to examining our unsolved cases. The Chief of our new unit will be working over the next few months to build a team of specially trained and experienced homicide detectives from the State Police and from each city and town in Middlesex County to review every unsolved homicide case over the last 50 years.”
The work of the Cold Case Unit will be all encompassing, Prosecutors will be re-examining existing evidence and utilizing the latest investigative techniques and technology. This initiative reflects District Attorney Ryan’s unwavering commitment to Middlesex County’s oldest cases. In January, 2019, the Office solved the oldest case in their history, the 50 year old murder of Harvard graduate student, Jane Britton, through the use of improved DNA testing measures. In bringing this case to conclusion investigators were able to provide answers to Jane’s brother and many of her friends who were alive and still haunted by her tragic death.
If after a thorough review, the Cold Case Unit concludes that no further investigative steps can be taken, a copy of the file will be made available, as the Office recently did for the family of Joan Risch, a Lincoln woman who went missing from her home in October 1961.
Attorney Dave Solet has returned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office to oversee the Cold Case Unit. Solet, who graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and cum laude from Harvard Law School, previously served in the Office, prosecuting homicide cases, as well as cases involving child exploitation, narcotics trafficking, public corruption and organized crime. Solet has also trained police and prosecutors in a wide variety of topics including search warrants, digital evidence, and the law of weapons. Solet recently served as Chief Legal Counsel at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) where he oversaw the secretariat’s legal and legislative affairs. Solet is a member and former co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Criminal Law Steering Committee, and serves as a First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps, United States Army Reserve.
Collaboration with the community will also be a primary focus of the unit, recognizing that the public plays a critical role in moving unsolved investigations forward. If members of the public believe that they have information about any unsolved homicides they are encouraged to contact the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office at 781-897-6600.