WASHINGTON (AP) — Two men have been charged in a cold-case triple homicide from 1991 after police learned of a potential witness in the case, District of Columbia authorities said Wednesday.
Police said 44-year-old Michael Green of northeast Washington and 45-year-old Benito Valdez of Arlington, Virginia, were arrested Tuesday. Both are charged with first degree murder while armed in the 1991 shooting deaths of 29-year-old Curtis Pixley, 24-year-old Keith Simmons and 23-year-old Samantha Gillard. Pixley and Gillard were living in Washington at the time while Simmons was living in Fort Washington, Maryland, police said.
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief Peter Newsham said at a news conference that the three were found shot dead April 23, 1991, in Langdon Park in northeast Washington and that the shootings "may have been drug-related."
The arrests, almost 25 years after the shootings, came after police learned there was a potential witness in the case, Newsham said. That witness led police to "a number of other witnesses who corroborated information from the first witness," Newsham said.
"We want to reiterate to the community today that with these cold cases we do not stop investigating. When people bring new information to our attention we'll follow every lead," Newsham said.
Newsham said there were 482 homicides in the city in 1991. Last year, there were 162 homicides in the city, an increase from 105 in 2014, according to statistics on the police department's website.
Police don't anticipate any more arrests in connection with the case, Newsham said.
Attempts to reach the families of Valdez and Green for comment were unsuccessful. An online court records system did not list an attorney for either man.