CBS 2 - Search Results
Daughter Speaks Out About Cold Case Arrest
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- Monday night is just the start of closure for Kristen Joe Twilla, the daughter of Judith Weeks, who was murdered in April of 1999. Deshaun Lamonte Phillips, 34, was recently arrested and charged with first degree murder for Weeks' death.
Despite the fact that the case is 14 years old, Twilla said, she never gave up hope that this day would come.
"I can't say that I thought this day was going to come soon, any time soon, but I said I would find her killer before I died," Twilla said.
That mission may now be over for Twilla.
She said was shocked when she first heard police had found a DNA match in her mother's case, but she doesn't quite feel closure.
"I feel like the door is, like, opening, but it won't be fully opened and closed until the trial, and I see him put away and charged to the fullest extent of the law. I still am going to have to live with this forever and grieve this forever," she said.
In the 14 years since her mother's death, Twilla said she has been working to keep her case open, consistently checking in with police, hanging fliers and putting her memory out to the public on Facebook. Twilla said the arrest isn't so much a validation pf that work, but just another step in a very difficult journey.
"I called my aunt today, I had a breakdown, and she was crying, too, and she said, 'You know, I thought that when this happened, I would feel better but I don't,'" Twilla said.
Still, Twilla said she's been working toward a silver lining. Through her work the Homicide Survivor's Group with Horizons, she hopes to become an advocate for other women who might be struggling -- like her mom was -- and keep other deaths like her from happening.
"If my mom lived a different life, she would have never been outside that night, she would have never been murdered," Twilla said.
And she hopes people remember her mother the way she does.
"She was a wonderful person. She was somebody to a lot of people. She was a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a grandmother, a friend," Twilla said.
Phillips was arrested in Shakopee, Minnesota, and police say it was a collaborative effort with the Linn County Attorney's office.