A Flatbush family can now rest after the murderer of their daughter has finally been caught. According to Pix11, Bishop James Burrus was arrested earlier today for the 1980 murder of 19-year-old Lorraine Snell. Burrus, 69, was arrested at a Staten Island garage where he lives and holds church services, behind a laundry on Delafield Avenue.
For decades, Snell's mother, Pearl Snell-Holder, has been vigilant with trying to find out who killed her daughter even though Burrus has been a suspect for years. Snell was a cousin of Burrus' then wife and she was last seen with him on the night that she died.
According to a case update done in 2014 the 19-year-old had left her mother’s home on East 39th Street in Brooklyn to make plans for an engagement party at the Midwood Terrace, which used to be located on Flatbush Avenue.
A bartender there told police she saw Lorraine Snell leave with Burrus, who was trying to walk her home in the rain. Snell was said not to be interested.
“We did leave the building together,” Burrus told PIX 11 Investigates, when asked about details of that night. “I walked her, I believe it was, on Clarendon Road. A few blocks from her house, I went one way, and I watched her go up by her block.”
Snell was found strangled on Sept. 25, 1980 in the back seat of a station wagon, behind a supermarket on Newkirk Avenue in Brooklyn. Snell had been strangled, and a car cable was tied around her neck. Her shirt had been pulled up.
Lorraine Snell’s mother had passed near the site, to take the Newkirk Avenue subway, about 10 hours before her daughter’s body was found.
Burrus was once employed at the supermarket where Snell's body was found but always maintained his innocence until today when he was finally arrested. Newly tested DNA from Burrus matched a "foreign" DNA that was found under Snell's fingernails.
In court Burrus never once addressed the family or even looked in their direction.
Pearl told PIX11 last fall that she was 42 years old when her daughter died. She is turning 82 years old this September.
Snell-Holder said she wasn’t going anywhere until her daughter received justice.
“I was waiting like it would never come,” the mother said Thursday, nearly 40 years later.
We're thankful this family FINALLY has closure.