One snowy morning in December 1984, Gloria Pointer was excited to get to school because she was to receive an award. But sadly, the teenager never made it. Instead, Gloria was the victim of a horrific murder on her way to school. Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Lake Erie Murders: Alley of Death’ delves into how the authorities solved the case close to three decades later, thanks to biological evidence. So, let’s find out more about what happened then, shall we?
How Did Gloria Pointer Die?
Gloria was born in February 1970 to a 17-year-old Yvonne Pointer. She was Yvonne’s oldest daughter and was described as having a sunny personality. Furthermore, Gloria loved cooking and took care of her younger brother. At the time of the incident, the family lived in Cleveland, Ohio. The 14-year-old studied at Harry E. Davis Junior High School in Cleveland, and on December 6, 1984, she was to receive an award for perfect attendance.
However, Gloria, who always walked to school, never made it. Yvonne received a call from the school at around 8 AM, and she reported her daughter missing soon after. The search ended in tragedy when an apartment building custodian found her partially clothed body at the bottom of a fire escape stairwell. Gloria had been beaten and sexually assaulted, with the rest of her clothes being found close by.
Who Killed Gloria Pointer?
The authorities learned that Gloria called a friend at around 7 AM to plan the day; she wanted to drop by to have her hair combed and then walk to school together. But that friend left about half an hour later when Gloria didn’t come. Witnesses reported seeing Gloria being followed by a black male on her way to school. Another witness said that he remembered a man grabbing Gloria by her arm while on the street.
However, the case turned cold over time because there wasn’t a lot of other information that could have led to the killer. It wasn’t until 2013, about 29 years later, that Gloria’s killer was identified. Yvonne and the authorities’ perseverance paid off when biological evidence from Gloria’s clothing finally led to a DNA match: Hernandez Warren. He was arrested at his home in May 2013 and had a criminal history.
The authorities learned that Hernandez had spent about a decade and a half in prison after being convicted of a 1985 felonious assault and rape during a burglary. Apart from that, Hernandez had drug convictions and lived in the same neighborhood as Gloria. Ultimately, he was only identified in April 2013 after a reporter urged the authorities to double-check if anything else could have been done with the DNA evidence.
After the arrest, Hernandez confessed to the killing and admitted luring Gloria to the back stairwell of an apartment that morning. He said, “I killed her, but why and how, I don’t know. I was f—– up. I was f—– up.” Hernandez added that the 14-year-old was following him as she left, and he pushed her down the stairs, later beating her with a brick or a pipe. While the defense later claimed that the confession was forced, the judge allowed it to be used as evidence.
Where is Hernandez Warren Now?
Hernandez was scheduled to go to trial in September 2014 and faced the death penalty. But in May 2014, then 59 years old, he pled guilty to aggravated murder and rape. Hernandez apologized to Yvonne in court during the proceedings, saying that he struggled with “the depth of pain and sorrow that I have caused your family. I am the one to blame for all of this.” In the same month, he was sentenced to thirty years to life in prison. Records indicate that Hernandez remains incarcerated at the Toledo Correctional Institution in Lucas County, Ohio. He will be eligible for parole in 2043.
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