(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — A joint investigation by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin’s Office has led to the arrest of a Columbus man in the case of a 31-year-old unsolved homicide.
Robert Edwards, 67, was taken into custody on Friday and charged with aggravated murder. He also was charged with possession of drugs.
“Our cold case experts at BCI are the best in the business,” Yost said. “They examine all the pieces of a puzzle, use all the technology available and leave no stone unturned – all with the goal of bringing justice and peace of mind to family members of victims. The partnership we have with Sheriff Baldwin and his law enforcement team is invaluable, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work done on this case.”
On June 3, 1991, two passersby found the nude body of Alma Lake, 30, lying in the grass on the northwest corner of Olive Street and Craig Street in Urbancrest, a village in southwest Franklin County.
For years, Franklin County investigators worked diligently to find who was responsible for her death. Numerous items of evidence from the case were submitted to BCI’s laboratory, where forensic scientists were able to develop an offender’s DNA profile. The unknown profile was researched but not unveiled and the case grew cold.
In 2020, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office enlisted the assistance of BCI’s Cold Case Unit to apply new technology to the case. BCI’s laboratory conducted advanced DNA analysis, which aided the collaborative group of analysts and investigators. Follow-up investigative work ultimately led to the identification of Robert Edwards as a suspect.
The investigation team continues to explore the suspect’s involvement in other cases.
BCI’s Cold Case Unit was formed in 2020 to help local law enforcement agencies initiate fresh looks at unsolved cases. The unit uses recently developed forensic analysis and investigative resources to examine unsolved homicides and sexual assaults.