A brutal double murder in an apartment in Marietta, Georgia, in September 1986, left the residents in fear of their life. But it wasn’t until decades later that the killer was confirmed to have been living in the same building. Investigation Discovery’s ‘On the Case With Paula Zahn: Never The Same’ shines a light on the horrific double murder of Sharon Brady and her daughter, Samantha. The case remained unsolved for years before technological advancements led the police to the culprit. So, if you’re curious to find out more, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Sharon and Samantha Brady Die?
Sharon Phyllis Stiles was born in December 1975 in Union County, New Jersey. She had two daughters, Samantha and Brandi, who were 13 and three years old, respectively, at the time of the incident. Sharon was described as a loving and accepting mother. The 40-year-old was estranged from her husband, Don Brady, and had moved into the apartment complex in Marietta with the kids just weeks before the tragedy.
On September 12, 1986, the police were called to the Brady residence after one of Samantha’s friends couldn’t reach her. The friend could hear from Brandi that she couldn’t wake up her mother and sister. Inside, Samantha was found on the couch, face down and in a pool of blood. She had multiple stab wounds in her back. Sharon was found in the master bedroom, naked and also stabbed. An autopsy revealed that the mother and daughter had been sexually assaulted. Fortunately, Brandi was unharmed.
Who Killed Sharon and Samantha Brady?
According to the show, the front door was locked. The police believed that the attacker entered the residence through the upstairs window and left through the backdoor; blood was on the doorknob. Furthermore, nothing appeared to be stolen. The crime scene was bloody, and the investigators collected hair samples from the couch and bloody clothing from the bedroom. The authorities also learned that a neighbor heard a scream around 2 AM, giving them a rough timeline of when the murders might have occurred.
After ruling out the estranged husband, the police heard from another resident in the apartment: Mannon Phillips. As per the show, Mannon believed his roommate, Ronald Lee Kyles was responsible for the murders. They lived only two doors down from the Bradys, and Mannon claimed that Ronald came to his bedroom and picked up a knife. A few hours later, he heard Ronald cleaning up in the bathroom.
Witnesses also reported seeing Ronald doing laundry on the morning of the murders. But when the police questioned him, he didn’t cooperate. While the authorities sent samples for DNA testing, they were limited by the technology of that time. The case didn’t go any further from there, eventually turning cold. It wasn’t until 2013 that a cold case unit decided to take a second look at the Brady double murders.
This time, the authorities had the original rape kits and blood samples from Ronald. Upon analysis, the biological evidence matched Ronald, connecting him to the crime. He was arrested in November 2015. At the time, Ronald was serving time in Pennsylvania for an aggravated assault and burglary.
Where is Ronald Lee Kyles Today?
Ronald was initially charged with several offenses that included felony murder, burglary, rape, and aggravated assault, among other things. But in a surprising move, he pleaded guilty to the two murders about a week before the trial’s start date. In October 2018, Ronald was handed down two consecutive life sentences, to begin after he finished his earlier punishment for assault. Prison records indicate that Ronald remains incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Fayette in La Belle, Pennsylvania.
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