According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the case of Cheryl Thompson has been solved after 44 years. Ralph Howell was indicted posthumously on charges of murder and rape. Howell died in 1985. It is possible that Howell could be linked to three other homicides.
We are so thankful that Cheryl Thompson’s case was solved.
19 year-old Cheryl Thompson was last seen on March 24, 1978. She was supposed to meet her boyfriend at Gatsby’s, a nightclub in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, Cheryl never made it to Gatsby’s. Her family reported her missing the next day.
Although the boyfriend searched for Cheryl, he could not find her. He did find her car, which he moved to a legal parking spot. The boyfriend saw someone drive off in her car a few hours after he had moved it. He chased the thief but was not able to keep up with them.
Two weeks later on April 8, a state game warden found Cheryl’s body on the bank of the Little Miami River. The coroner stated that the cause of death was strangulation and blunt force trauma.
Until 2012, the DNA was just sitting on a shelf waiting to be tested. Within the last two years, more DNA evidence was discovered. Cold case investigators are hoping that the newly found DNA will be useful in finding a match using familial DNA analysis.
During the late 70s and early 80s, there were numerous homicides of young women in Cincinnati. Many of the cases, like Cheryl Thompson, have not been solved. Hopefully, those people that have information will come forward to help solve cold cases.
Loveland Police Department at 513.583.3000