GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It has taken 23 years but police in Greensboro said they may have solved the murder of a 7-year-old girl who was killed in July 1990.
Tuesday, police announced that a man in South Carolina was arrested by the United States Marshals and charged with First Degree Murder and First Degree Sex Offense in connection to the murder of Shalonda S. Poole.
The suspect identified as Donald Preston Ferguson of Spartanburg, S.C. was taken into custody without incident. Police credit forensic technology and old fashion detective work that linked him to the 23-year-old highly-publicized case.
"We never stopped looking for the person responsible for the crimes against Shalonda," said Capt. Mike Richey, Commander of Greensboro Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division.
Ferguson, who was 29, when Shalonda went missing from her family's Hampton Homes residence on July 21, 1990, worked occasionally in the area, police said.
Shalonda's body was found with signs of sexual assault and strangulation the next day in a wooded area behind Jones Elementary School.
Ferguson left the Greensboro area in August of 1990. In October of that year, he was charged and convicted of a sexual assault in Spartanburg, SC. He was released from the South Carolina Department of Corrections in 1997 and was on active probation until his arrest.
Ferguson, now 52, was taken into custody at his home on Carson Avenue. He is currently in the Spartanburg County Jail pending extradition to Greensboro.
The Greensboro Police Department Violent Criminal Apprehension Team, Spartanburg County (SC) Sheriffs Office, Greenville County Sheriffs Office, Anderson County (SC) Sheriffs Office, and the South Carolina Department of Probation and Parole all contributed to Ferguson's arrest.
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Detective A.R. Hinson at (336)574-4004.
WFMY News 2