D.C. police make arrest in 8-year-old cold case

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Thelma Butler holds a photo of her daughter, Pamela, after the news conference.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Metropolitan Police Department announced on Saturday that detectives had made an arrest in the case of Pamela Butler, a woman who disappeared over eight years ago and charged her ex-boyfriend with first-degree murder.

"We’re just so happy that this is finally coming to an end. It’s been a long road for us," said Derrick Butler, the brother of Pamela Butler.

Butler, 47, was last seen at her home on the 5800 block of 4th St. NW on February 17, 2009.

Her family had her legally declared dead in July 2016.

On Saturday, police announced they had arrested her ex-boyfriend, Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, 51, of Fairfax, Va. for her death and charged him with first-degree murder.

Police Chief Peter Newsham credited the arrest to a detective in the department's cold case division.

"When he looked at the case with a fresh set of eyes he was able to determine some additional information which suggested a troubled history of domestic violence for the suspect in this case," said Newsham.

Newsham said he could not divulge what led police to make the arrest or the history of domestic violence, but added that more details would be made available in the charging documents that will be published when Rodriguez-Cruz makes his first court appearance.

"Why? Where and When? Why? Why? Why? Why did you have to do this?" said Thelma Butler after the news conference.

Butler's body has still not been found and her family hopes that this arrest will lead them to it.

"So we can get the body and do what’s right as far as she’s concerned," said Derrick Butler.

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