Police have identified a 37-year-old man as the person who allegedly murdered two young women at a Nashville tanning salon in 1996.
Authorities announced the indictments against Patrick Streater for two counts of premeditated first degree murder at a news conference Thursday evening.
Streater is alleged to have killed Melissa Chilton and Tiffany Campbell who worked at the Exotic Tan for Men on February 22, 1996.
Exotic Tan for Men was an adult business on Church Street near 18th Avenue. The business has long been closed.
Police believe the murders occurred around lunchtime and that the business owner had spoken to the two victims earlier in the day.
He discovered their bodies around 2 p.m.
Streater was Campbell’s former boyfriend. Police said they have spoken with Streater on multiple occasions regarding the stabbing.
“The indictment against Patrick Streater is the result of countless hours of detective work by Sergeant Postiglione and his team,” Chief Steve Anderson said. “They worked diligently to uncover new pieces of the investigative puzzle, as well as put into place those pieces developed by other officers over the past 17 years.”
He added, “I know that Gail Chilton and Deborah Edmonds, the mothers of the victims, never lost hope. Neither did we.”
Both mothers were at the announcement.
“I can’t express the thanks that I feel for these men here who are brave and go out every day to solve not just this crime but every crime,” Chilton said. “This isn’t just about Melissa or Tiffany.”
She continued, “They have taken a killer off the streets to prevent future homicides.”
Chilton was a vocal part of the investigation into her daughter’s murder. She often spoke on the anniversary of the crime to raise awareness and hopefully generate tips to police.
She admitted that at times she wondered if detectives were working on the case or if anyone would ever be brought to justice.
“They were working times when I was expressing that I didn’t think they were doing anything and I apologize for that,” Chilton said. “But it had been so many years that I thought the case had just stopped.”
Tiffany Campbell’s mother Deborah Edmonds also expressed gratitude to detectives for their work.
“It has been 17 years. We take it day by day and there is an end in sight for us,” she said. “Bless everybody involved with this. It is hard on us right now, but thank you so very much for what you have done for us.”
Cold case detective Sergeant Pat Postiglione led the cold case unit’s investigation in to the murders.
“This is a shining example of what the cold case unit strives for,” he said. “These are the types of cases we work on everyday and hopefully solve and give the family some sort of closure.”
Postiglione has solved some of Nashville’s biggest crimes including arresting serial killer Paul Dennis Reid and solving the 33-year-old cold case of Ethel Hethcote.
She was murdered inside her Hermitage home in 1979. Her killer was arrested in 2012.
The state of Tennessee has put a hold on Streater as he serves his sentence in California.
There is no date set for when he would return to Tennessee to face the two charges of murder against him. He has two years left to serve of his sentence in California.
Investigators have also not released a motive for the murders. They said they will not speak publicly about their theory until the case is heard in court.