A New York City man has been charged in the cold case 1976 slaying of a pregnant New Jersey teen whose remains were found in suitcases in Pennsylvania, state police said.
Luis Sierra, 63, of Ozone Park in Queens, was charged with homicide Wednesday in the death of 15-year-old Evelyn Colon, of Jersey City, whose remains were found along with her nearly full-term fetus in three suitcases along the Lehigh River in Carbon County just days before Christmas in 1976, authorities said.
The remains were identified 44 years after they were discovered, state police said in a statement.
“Numerous interviews and investigational processes were conducted following her identification which led to the development of a suspect,” state police said.
Sierra, who was 19 when Colon’s body was found, remains in custody awaiting extradition to Carbon County, state police said. No additional information was released.
“The Pennsylvania State Police, in consultation with the Carbon County District Attorney’s Office, will provide detailed information regarding this case in the near future,” state police said.
Carbon County District Attorney Michael Greek declined to provide additional details Wednesday, LehighValleyLive.com reported.
A district court in Weatherly, Pennsylvania, where Sierra was charged, said no further information would be released until his arrest warrant was served.
A press conference on the case is expected to be held next week, a Pennsylvania State Police spokesman told The Post Thursday.
Sierra was arrested Wednesday in New York, Trooper Anthony Petroski said. He declined to release additional information, including whether Sierra was romantically involved with the teen.
Sierra was Colon’s boyfriend at the time her body was found, WFMZ reported.
Two relatives declined to speak on Wednesday’s arrest, saying they were too distraught, the station reported.
An online fundraiser set up for Colon and her unborn child said the teen was identified through her nephew’s DNA.
“We never could have imagined this would be the way we would see her again,” the website reads. “The gruesome brutality of Evelyn and her baby’s murder have deeply broken us.”
The remains of Colon and her unborn child – who had been previously only known as “Beth Doe” — are currently in White Haven, Pennsylvania, without a headstone, according to the fundraiser.
The previously unidentified remains were exhumed in 2007, the Associated Press reported. Colon had been strangled, shot and dismembered and authorities planned to run DNA retrieved from the remains through a missing person database, authorities said at the time.