GRANT COUNTY, Ind. — A Marion man is charged in Wisconsin with the 1994 death of a woman who was strangled and run over by a car.
52-year-old Willie Coleman is charged with first-degree reckless homicide for the murder of 40-year-old Lula Cunnigan.
“It’s not every day any police department is able to make an arrest in a 25-year-old homicide,” says Acting Madison, Wisconsin Police Chief Vic Wahl.
Cunnigan’s body was found 25 years ago in Madison.
In December 2015, investigators say the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory discovered a DNA match that linked Coleman to the case. Madison detectives went to Indiana after they secured a warrant for Coleman, who was arrested in Marion, for an unrelated offense. Coleman could not be charged immediately, says Wahl.
“Simply having that hit from 2015 doesn’t end the investigation or end the story. Obviously there are a lot more investigative steps that had to happen during that time period to get us to where we are today,” Wahl said.
Madison police have maintained regular contact with Cunnigan’s family over the past two decades, providing them with updates when they are available.
“So it’s something that’s impactful on us as an agency and is certainly impactful to the family as well,” Wahl said.
(Photo provided by the Grant County Jail.)
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