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(NECN: Jack Thurston, Lexington, MA) - Middlesex County prosecutors say a nearly two decades-old murder mystery has been solved. They'll bring first-degree murder charges against Craig Conkey, 45, for the 1992 stabbing death of Kathleen Dempsey in her Lexington home.
"We all feel a sense of relief that we're not going to have to be as vigilant as we have been over the past 20 years," said Evelyn Tobin, Dempsey's mother. "We can rest a little."
Tobin remained actively in touch with police and prosecutors over nearly 20 years, always wondering who took her daughter away from her. "My daughter believed in justice very strongly, and she would be very happy for her family today that this is happening," she said.
Dempsey was found stabbed to death in August 1992. Prosecutors say Conkey had broken into her home to burglarize it, and awoke Dempsey. She was stabbed numerous times.
"This was a horrific, unspeakable act of violence against a 31-year-old woman who was beloved and had her whole life in front of her," said Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone.
Conkey's already in prison for life for killing another Lexington woman, Mary Lou Sale, who was 49 at the time of her death in 1994.
Investigators say statements Conkey made to them, as well as new forensic testing on old evidence, linked him to the Dempsey case.
A new court date on the new charges has not been set, and Conkey is still presumed innocent.
"At least we know someone's going to pay the price," Tobin said.
Leone praised detectives from the Massachusetts State Police and Lexington Police Department and said this case should give hope to other victims of unsolved crimes.