Last week Dixmoor police and the Cook County Sheriff’s office announced they are reopening a 1991 murder case in which five teens were wrongly convicted and served prison time.
For the victim’s mother, reopening this case puts her back on an emotional roller coaster 23 years after her daughter was raped and murdered.
Cateresa Matthews was 14 years old when she left her grandmother’s Dixmoor home and never got to her own home. Five teens were arrested after a botched investigation in 1991. They spent years behind bars before being exonerated in 2011.
Cateresa Matthews would be 37 today. She wanted to be an accountant. She was a good girl.
“I was trying to move forward until I got the call saying they were going back to court — that they weren’t the ones who did it,” her mother, Theresa Matthews, told reporters today. “And it seemed like it opened up more wounds.”
“Do we have leads? Yes, we have leads, and we have things we’re more aggressively working on than others,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said. “We owe it to everybody, particularly Theresa, to do this in the most thorough way.”
The Cook County Sheriff’s lead sex crimes investigator is the lead on this case as well. They have a name attached to the DNA evidence that set the five men free, but police are not rushing to charge him right now. He is a convicted sex offender. Police just want to make sure they have a rock solid case.