Photo: U.S. Marshals
CLEVELAND -- A police source tells Channel 3 News that Elias Acevedo, 44, the "person of interest" in the Christina Adkins disappearance, is also a suspect in a 1994 strangulation murder.
Acevedo was indicted June 6, then arrested and charged in the 1993 rape of an 18-year-old that was reported at the Tremont neighborhood location the FBI searched on Oct. 2 for the body of Christina Adkins.
He pleaded not guilty and remains in the Cuyahoga County Jail.
The source tells Channel 3 that Acevedo is also a suspect in the Oct. 24, 1994, murder of Pamela Pemberton, 30, of Vega Avenue. She was found dead back then by three kids going to school.
Police said she had been strangled and may have been raped.
Pemberton's sister, Sheila Scaggs, says after two decades, she felt she'd likely never know the truth about what happened.
Scaggs heard from the FBI a few weeks ago, asking questions about their home and their lives while on Vega Avenue.
FBI teams searched, unsuccessfully, in August 2013 for Adkins at 2610 Vega Ave., a home where Acevedo lived in the '90s.
Pemberton worked for Downing Enterprises at the time of her death, just down Vega at the time. The company had even established a reward fund for the arrest of Pemberton's killer, but after several years, the money was liquidated and donated.
Scaggs says she doesn't recognize Acevedo's name or face, but, if he could be behind her sister's death, she's glad to know he's already behind bars.
Friday, police dubbed Acevedo, a convicted sex offender, a "person of interest" in the Adkins case as they searched an area on Cleveland's west side.
Also Friday, police said they and the FBI were talking to Acevedo at the Cuyahoga County Jail, where he is being held on charges in the 1993 rape case.
Police records show Acevedo lived in the Vega Avenue home the FBI searched Aug. 30 at the time in 1995 when Adkins disappeared.
Acevedo was charged as part of the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's DNA Cold Case Task Force.
How was the connection made? DNA that connected Acevedo to the case came from one of the 4,000 rape kits Cleveland police had sent to BCI for testing.
Many of the kits are decades old and were not previously tested.
Acevedo also faces charges that he failed to properly register his address with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office.
Records show Acevedo was also convicted of sexual battery in 2003 and sentenced to three years in prison. At that time a judge deemed him a "sexually oriented offender."