Arrest made in 2006 cold case murder of Brooklyn teen

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A 29-year-old man being held in the Caribbean has been arrested in the 2006 murder of a 16-year-old girl in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton announced the unsealing of the murder indictment against Veron Primus for the June 2006 murder of high school student Chanel Petro-Nixon.

An extradition request will be submitted to the country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where Primus has been detained since April 21 on unrelated murder and kidnapping cases.

"Ten years ago, a promising young woman's life was tragically taken, leaving her family and the community searching for answers," Thompson said. "My office remained steadfast in our search for justice and with this indictment, we will ensure that the defendant is brought back to Brooklyn and held accountable for the death of Chanel Petro-Nixon."

Petro-Nixon vanished on Father's Day in 2006, when she left her parents' Bedford-Stuyvesant home to visit with a friend. Her body was found in a garbage bag four days later on Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights.

"It was a happy day and sad time, because it sends me back to the beginning," mom Lucita Petro-Nixon said. "I'm happy that at least we have a little chance to know what happened. There's light at the end of the tunnel."

The Medical Examiner ruled that she had been strangled.

"I prayed and asked God to let this come to an end," friend Kanika Ashterman said. "He answered my prayer."

Primus has long been suspected in her death, and then in 2012, in a separate case, Primus violated an order or protection, served three years in prison and was deported to St. Vincent. There, he again got into more trouble, allegedly kidnapping an ex-girlfriend and murdering another young lady.

"Some evidence came to our attention a few weeks ago, and we were finally able to put a case together where we could get an indictment," Thompson said.

He's been in jail in St. Vincent since April, which is when NYPD detectives got word about incriminating statements Primus made about Petro-Nixon's murder.

"This indictment is a testament to the fact that neither time nor distance will stop our investigators and prosecutors from the pursuit of justice," Bratton said. "I applaud the commitment and tenacity of all who worked on this case and thank our law enforcement partners overseas for their cooperation."

Primus was three years older than Petro-Nixon and knew her from school and church. He is facing one count of second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
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