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1990 double-murder remains on radar

By Staff | May 10, 2011

As the 21st anniversary of the Cornell-Story murders passed Tuesday, Cape Coral detectives continue to work the case, including a recent new tip.
“Every May 10, we look back on the tragedies that involved Lisa Story and Robin Cornell,” Police Chief Jay Murphy said. “It’s a case we have not let go cold.”
On May 10, 1990, the bodies of Robin Cornell, 11, and Lisa Story, 32, were found inside their home at 631 S.E. 12th Ave. Both had been suffocated and sexually assaulted. The two were discovered by Robin’s mother, Jan Cornell.
Story had agreed to watch Robin the night before while Cornell visited her boyfriend. Cornell returned home the next morning to find her daughter’s naked body on the floor of her bedroom. Story’s body was found in her bed.
Detective Christy Jo Ellis, who has been working the case for the last several years with Detective Kurt Grau, reported Tuesday that the case is not cold.
“This is not just a cold case in a box up on the shelf,” she said. “This is a breathing, alive type of case.”
The double-murder has been featured three times now on the hit television show “America’s Most Wanted,” in 2006, 2007 and 2010. Ellis said the CCPD receives a tip or piece of information about every two months on the case.
“We do still get tips,” she said.
“Nothing near as solid as the information we just got though,” Ellis added.
On Thursday, the Cape detectives received a lead from a law enforcement agency on the east coast of Florida. An informant, or reliable source, of that agency had provided some “specific information about the crime,” she said.
Ellis could not provide specifics on the tip because it is under review.
She did say that the information has been checked against the old case files and that there may be travel plans in the future to further investigate it.
“We hit it pretty hard on a couple of things,” Ellis said.
Though she could not confirm what the new information revealed about the crime, Ellis indicated that it could possibly tie someone to the murders.
Last year, detectives submitted DNA from a suspect for testing.
“That came back negative,” Ellis said Tuesday.
The Cape police have a sample of DNA that it believes belongs to the killer. The sample has been run through a national database, but no match has been made. If the killer is arrested and a DNA sample is taken, it could be entered into the database and matched to the existing sample.
“We’re still hopeful,” Ellis said. “We do believe that it’s a solvable case.”
Jan Cornell could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Ellis noted that Cornell was with her when the call came in Thursday.
“We just happened to be sitting down for one of our regular meetings,” she said. “It was exciting for her to hear it right there, firsthand.”
Ellis said Cornell remains hopeful of finding her daughter’s killer.
If anyone has any information about the case, contact the Cape police at 574-3223, or submit a tip by texting “CCPD” plus the message to CRIMES or visit: www.capecops.com. Tipsters can also contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at (800) 780-TIPS (8477) and be eligible for a cash reward.