Forensic evidence helps investigators solve 1974 murder of 15-year-old girl in Reynoldsburg

The Columbus Dispatch | Eric Lagatta

Investigators say they have solved a 47-year-old cold case after new forensic evidence led them to the identification of two men they believe murdered a 15-year-old girl on the west side of Reynoldsburg.

Lori Nesson’s nude body was found Sept. 28, 1974 in a roadside ditch on Rose Hill Road in Reynoldsburg. Nesson, a sophomore at Eastmoor High School who lived with her mother on the East Side of Columbus, had left a party 13 hours earlier on Sept. 27 on Harding Road, five miles from where her body was discovered.

Nesson’s death stumped police, and investigators were never able to find her killers. Eventually, the case went cold.

But investigators have now determined that the two men who were responsible for Nesson’s death were the same men convicted of assaulting and murdering a 17-year-old Whitehall girl a year later in the Blacklick area.

Those men — Charles Webber of Columbus and Robert W. Meyer of Cincinnati — have both since died. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Reynoldsburg Division of Police Chief Curtis Baker announced the news on Wednesday.

“Families deserve answers, even when years have passed since they lost their loved ones,” Yost said in a written statement. “This case was solved by pure determination by investigators, the application of modern DNA technology to a decades-old case and a well-timed tip from the public that proved to be true.”

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