Today Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley announce that the Boston Police Unsolved Case Squad has made an arrest in a decades old homicide case. A 60 year old Atlanta man is in custody and charged with the 1984 homicide of Elsie “Yolanda” Hernandez, then 18 and of Roxbury. Sultan Omar Chezulu, 60 of Georgia, was arrested this morning by the local authorities for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.
Yolanda Hernandez was 18 years old when she was found murdered on Ball Street in Roxbury on December 29, 1984. The investigation reveals that Yolanda Hernandez leaves work at her cashier\’s job on Washington Street in Roxbury at approximately 6:00pm on December 28, 1984. At approximately 2:45pm on December 29, 1984 Hernandez\’ remains are found in garbage-strewn lot between Shawmut Avenue and Washington Street. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled her cause of death to be blunt force trauma and ligature strangulation.
Mayor Thomas Menino stated, \”I want to commend Commissioner Davis, District Attorney Conley, and the Boston Police Department\’s Unsolved Case squad for their relentless efforts to solve this tragic crime,\” Mayor Menino added, \”Yolanda\’s family deserved to see this fugitive brought to justice, no matter how long ago the crime was perpetrated. The tireless work of our detectives and the DA\’s Office serves as a prime example that no crime should go unpunished.”
District Attorney Dan Conley stated, \”Sultan Omar Chezulu has been on the run from Yolanda Hernandez’ murder for 24 years — six years longer than Yolanda lived on this earth. His arrest today is proof that no span of years and no physical distance will deter us from bringing a killer to justice. Today’s developments speak volumes about the commitment that the Suffolk DA’s Office and the Boston Police Department demonstrate to victims, to their families, and to the cause of justice in our Commonwealth.\”
Police Commissioner Ed Davis stated, “With this arrest, I want the families of victims to know that the Boston Police Department will never give up in its efforts to bring criminals to justice, and they and their loved ones are never forgotten. I applaud the tenacity of the detectives and prosecutors who have been dogged in their pursuit of justice for Yolanda and their efforts to provide some sense of peace to Yolanda’s family and friends.”
The joint efforts of Boston Police detectives and prosecutors from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office ultimately led to Chezulu being arrested and charged. The Unsolved Case Squad took existing evidence from the crime scene and submitted it into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). A CODIS hit was confirmed to be Chezulu also known as Robert L. Scott. In 1990, Robert Scott was convicted of robbery and ABDW in Suffolk County. Scott was ordered to give DNA sample upon release in 2004. Robert L. Scott changed his name to Sultan O. Chezulu and had been living in Georgia.
Detectives recently travelled to Atlanta to continue their investigation into Chezulu. As a result, today a warrant was sought and granted at Roxbury Municipal Court. Chezulu was taken into custody by local authorities. He is expected to be returned to Boston tomorrow where he will face a murder charge.
Yolanda Hernandez was a graduate of Charlestown High School. At the time of her death, she was working at Robells Department Store in Roxbury. She was in the process of enrolling at Northeastern University and dreamed of being a veterinarian.
The Boston Police Unsolved Case Squad
The Boston Police Department revived a full-time unsolved homicide case squad in March of 2008. The Unsolved Case Squad is assigned to investigate homicide cases that remain unsolved after 5 years. The unit, who reviews cases from 2003 going back four decades, utilizes recent technological advances in the field of forensic evidence analysis and increases in the police department’s analytical capabilities to select cases for further investigation.
** Photos of Yolanda and Chezulu have been sent out via email. If you did not receive that email, then please contact media relations at 617343-4520 and we will email you the photos.