Long-lost brother's mystery solved

July 26, 2008 8:29:27 PM PDT
For almost 30 years a southeast Texas man has wondered what happened to his brother, after his brother left home as a young man. The answers that came to him recently brought little comfort, but some closure. He learned his brother was part of a cold case which had stumped investigators for decades.The case began with an unidentified body, found in Darlington, Louisiana, in 1979. Investigators credit a crucial clue they discovered in Baytown for helping them in the case.

Billy Dewey said, "I can't describe how you feel after that, after all these years."

The last time Billy Dewey saw his younger brother Daniel, they were teenagers growing up in a broken home, about to go their separate ways.

"I was on my own at 18, he was 17," Billy recalled. "I didn't think anything about it. I just figured he found his own life, he found his niche. Maybe he had a family, maybe he had a great life somewhere."

But young Daniel never had a chance. Strangled in Louisiana in 1979, he had no identification and was buried in a grave marked 'homicide victim.'

Lt. Dennis Stewart said, "I had been working the case for so long, it was just like surreal to me at the time."

Lt. Stewart from the Louisiana State Police was only nine when Daniel was killed, and he was determined solve the mystery. Years of work led to an exhumation and a fingerprint search. Two months ago came the surprising match -- an arrest record at the Baytown Police Department. Twenty-nine years after he last saw Daniel, Billy finally found his little brother.

"I think it kind of took the wind out of your sails knowing that he was never going to? wasn't ever going to walk into that door, and it was final," Billy said.

Daniel's body was returned to the family. He was laid to rest three weeks ago.. And while solving a three decade old cold case may bring closure to some, for Billy, it opens up fresh wounds.

"I have a picture of him now on my nightstand," Billy told Eyewitness News. "I get up every morning and I look at him and I say I'm sorry."

Sorry, he says, for a life cut tragically too short.

The Dewey case is linked to two similar crimes in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and Abita Springs, Louisiana. Those two victims were identified, but the killer was never found.

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