Man Indicted in 1994 Cold-Case Murder of Pregnant Woman in Harlem

By Nina Mandell on December 18, 2012 7:05pm 

 Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., shown here in August 2012, annouced the indictment of a 55-year-old man in a 1994 murder Dec. 18, 2012.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., shown here in August 2012, annouced the indictment of a 55-year-old man in a 1994 murder Dec. 18, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Irene Plagianos

HARLEM — A man was indicted Tuesday in the 1994 cold-case murder of a pregnant woman found dead on a Harlem rooftop, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Melvin Kelly, 55, is accused of strangling 32-year-old Isabelle Joye, who was five months pregnant, and leaving her half-naked on the roof of 1743 Amsterdam Ave., where she was found in the early hours of May 18, 1994, prosecutors said.

Kelly, of Elmira, N.Y., was charged with two counts of second degree murder, the DA's office said.

Kelly's was indicted after the NYPD reopened the case earlier this year and used new technology to test evidence from the crime scene, officials said.

“Ms. Joye, who was expecting to be a mother at the time of her violent death, deserves justice, no matter how much time has passed,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement. “We remain committed to bringing justice to victims, as well as to families who never give up on finding answers about the deaths of their loved ones.”

Kelly’s indictment came less than a week after convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala pleaded guilty to the 1971 murder of Cornelia Crilley and the 1977 murder of Ellen Hover, who both lived in Manhattan.

Alcala, 69, had been in prison in California on separate murder charges but new evidence found after investigators reopened the cases helped link him to the two victims in New York, and he eventually confessed, officials said.

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