GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Nearly 24 years after Shalonda Poole was found murdered in Greensboro, police believe they found her killer.
READ: Police Make Arrest in 1990 Murder of Shalonda Poole
"She was taken, she was gone too soon," said Marilyn Poole, Shalonda's mother. "She was gone just too soon."
Shalonda was just 7-years-old when she was snatched out of her mother's life.
"He took a piece of my heart and he can't put that back."
The girl so full of life and love was found dead behind her school, her little body tortured.
Her family and community never gave up hope a killer would be found.
"Now, we all can rest in peace," said Poole.
Police arrested Donald Preston Ferguson and charged him with Shalonda's murder.
When Marilyn Poole saw his picture - she knew it was a face she'd seen before.
"After Sholanda got missing and everything, he was helping to look for her."
Ferguson was arrested at his home in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Police say he moved there one month after Shalonda's death.
"He done killed my baby and then left town. Stayed gone and I don't know how he got caught, and I really don't care but I just Thank God that he got caught. Brought justice, is going to bring justice," said Poole.
Ferguson is charged with First Degree Murder and First Degree Sex Offense. He is currently in jail in South Carolina, but will soon be moved to Greensboro.
WFMY News 2