December 8, 2023

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Ed Cronell, Real Estate, Agent Shoots Melinda Snyder In Home

5 min read
Ed Cronell, Real Estate, Agent Shoots Melinda Snyder In Home

A frantic 911 phone pierced the pre-dawn silent of Rock Hill, South Carolina on January 23, 1990. 

Melinda Snyder, 22, had been located shot in her bed room. Her roommate, who experienced been asleep in her very own area, was the one particular to find her following she was awakened by odd noises and a loud bang.

“My roommate just shot herself,” she told a 911 dispatcher in a recorded simply call read on “Sleeping with Demise,” airing Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen. 

Detectives arrived at the scene and found Melinda grappling for existence with “a gunshot wound off the remaining side of her head to her temple,” explained Bruce Bryant, former senior unique agent, SC Regulation Enforcement Division (SLED). She was sporting only a nightgown, which was pulled up in excess of her chest.

Melinda, a current school graduate and teacher’s assistant beloved by household and pals, was rushed to the clinic, but she died hours later on. 

Primarily based on the 911 report by Melinda’s roommate, who’d named her brother and Melinda’s ex-boyfriend in advance of law enforcement arrived, officers searched for evidence of an tried suicide. A spent .22 cartridge was identified, but there was no gun. 

“It was initially reported as a suicide. It very of course was not,” stated Charles Cabaniss, retired captain of the Rock Hill Police Section.

It was now a murder investigation.

The roommate’s 911 report raised a red flag, but she clarified to detectives what had took place. She reported she was roused by noises in Melinda’s room and then by someone utilizing the lavatory. The individual went again into Melinda’s place and then the loud bang came. The roommate explained she looked out her window and saw a white sedan with a black molding generate off.

Psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser reasoned that between being groggy and frightened, the roommate could have mistakenly believed Melinda experienced shot herself.

Early on in the investigation, detectives experienced 3 suspects — the roommate, who had only recognised Melinda for 6 months, her brother, and Melinda’s ex. 

“We appeared at the chance that one particular of all those 3 persons shot Melinda … and acquired rid of the weapon,” explained Les Herring, previous detective with the Rock Hill Law enforcement Section.

Examining the crime scene, investigators discovered no compelled entry or indicators of a battle, although they collected shoe prints in the bogs. There was a realtor lockbox on the entrance doorway simply because the residence was for sale.

An autopsy observed that she experienced died from a single gunshot, said Cabaniss. She experienced no defensive wounds or signs of sexual trauma. But based on how Melinda was discovered, detectives weren’t convinced she experienced not been assaulted.

Law enforcement turned their attention to the roommate’s brother. Police realized he was divided from his spouse and considered he may possibly have been attracted to Melinda. He had helped Melinda transfer some furnishings in the residence times ahead of the murder, according to investigators. 

He explained to officers he experienced no intimate inner thoughts for Melinda and willingly handed over his sneakers so the prints could be as opposed to ones gathered as evidence. But he refused to get a polygraph take a look at. He and his sister bought an lawyer and stopped chatting with investigators.

Relevant: ‘Infatuated’ Teenager Stabs Solitary Mom Much more Than 40 Occasions Just after Sneaking Into Her Space

Investigators spoke with Melinda’s ex-boyfriend. He and Melinda had damaged up just a handful of times in advance of the murder. Right after the interview, detectives moved him down on the record of suspects. 

They also concentrated on the genuine estate lockbox, which held a important to the home within it. Anyone with the code could retrieve the essential. They assembled a record of all real estate brokers who had entry to the lockbox.

For the duration of his job interview with law enforcement, Melinda’s ex experienced claimed that a actual estate agent named Ed “acted flirty” when he was in the household. Reviewing data, detectives discovered that on January 15, eight times ahead of the capturing, Edward “Ed” Cronell had been in the home. Investigators uncovered out that he drove a white sedan with black molding, substantially like the 1 the roommate claimed she experienced seen the night of the shooting.

When detectives questioned Cronell he stated he’d been in the household when no one was property. He also mentioned that the night time of the murder he was at a bachelor get together and did not go away until eventually about 4:30 a.m. He claimed that he’d got into a battle and went to a healthcare facility to get stitches.

But investigators checked all spot hospitals, and located no report to back again up his declare.

“That blew his alibi ideal out of the water,” mentioned Herring.

At this position ,Cronell received an attorney and stopped speaking with law enforcement.

On March 8, the situation took one more twist. The shoe prints gathered at the criminal offense scene matched the roommate’s brother’s shoes. He still refused to be interviewed.

Out of other leads, Bryant turned his consideration back again to the autopsy report. He asked for the proof to be retested for proof of a sexual attack. On the next investigation, semen was uncovered.

Investigators asked for a blood sample from the roommate’s brother, Melinda’s ex, and Cronell. The ex-boyfriend consented and was identified not to be a match. The other two gentlemen refused and officials could not power them to comply.

But about a calendar year afterwards, the roommate’s brother had a improve of heart. He arrived to investigators and agreed to give a blood sample. He wasn’t a match. His shoe impressions were being remaining when he served Melinda transfer furnishings, he reported.

On July 24 1992, two and a 50 {73375d9cc0eb62eadf703eace8c5332f876cb0fdecf5a1aaee3be06b81bdcf82} many years just after Melinda’s murder, a ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Courtroom enabled prosecutors to collect a blood sample from Cronell.

It was a match for DNA found on Melinda’s human body. Cronell, then 27, was arreste in March 1993 for murder, felony sexual conduct, and initial-degree burglary.

Prosecutors laid out their theory of the criminal offense. Cronell went to Melinda’s household, wherever he had entry to a critical. He crept in, raped her, and then killed her.

In 1994, the jury identified him guilty on all counts. He was supplied a lifetime sentence on both of those the murder demand and the burglary cost, and was offered 30 yrs on the sexual assault charge. 

Owing to legalities and the reality that the murder was dedicated in 1990, Cronell turned eligible for parole immediately after 20 a long time. Nevertheless, his requests for launch have been denied. Melinda’s mom and dad have been at just about every parole hearing.

“We will fight it right until we die,” Jerry Snyder, her father, explained to

“It’s brutal for me to have to see them do that,” Melinda’s brother, Kevin, instructed producers. “But they are there to talk for my sister.” 

To master far more about the case, enjoy “Sleeping with Loss of life,” airing Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen.

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