ATLANTA - Good police work and determination is being credited with the arrest of an accused murderer and rapist in a cold case from 20 years ago.
Atlanta Police arrested 44-year-old Ralph Williams who they believe raped and shot Cynthia Morris at her apartment on Amal Drive in southwest Atlanta in 1996.
“We have been waiting for answers for 20 years, we had even given up hope,” said Tiffiany Law, who was 14-years old when her mother was killed.
Investigators said DNA connected Williams to the crime. Williams was taken from Atlanta Police Headquarters to the Fulton County Jail on Wednesday. While being put inside the prisoners transport van Williams said he was innocent when asked if he did it.
Inside police headquarters, Morris’ children, who were teenagers at the time of their mother’s murder, expressed gratitude to detectives for not giving up on their mother’s case.
“For 20 years it has been very hard on the family,” said Courtney Morris, who was 16-years-old when his mother was killed. “We felt like there was not an answer, but due to the fact that there was an answer today gave us peace, gave us comfort.”
Detective Bret Zimbrick with the Atlanta Police Homicide Unit was one of the first detectives on scene 20 years ago. Zimbrick is now just a few months away from retirement, but never gave up on this case.
“It's an amazing feeling to be able to call someone out of the blue after 20 years,” said Detective Zimbrick as he talked about calling the family with the news. “That we have come to some sort of resolution in the case and evidence has been developed and we identified a suspect.”
The Morris children remained united throughout the 20 years. Dyran Morris, the eldest sibling, said their mother always taught them that she might not be with them someday and that they had to make the best of situations.
“I am just glad we had that type of teaching growing up, where we were always in each other's corner,” said Dyran Morris. “Take from what she taught us and the world and make the best out of it.”