Woman Left for Dead: What Happened in Miami Airport Hotel Mystery?

Share
Copy

However, another DNA hit also revealed a third victim, a woman who has agreed to be identified as "Rachel," who, in New Orleans in 2003, may have been Jones' first victim. Her story had a familiar ring: a stranger in a car, a ride and a rape.

"I screamed with everything I had," she said. "And the reality was, is just -- there was nobody there."

"She was able to describe exactly what had happened to her six years later," Thrumston said.

Perhaps the most compelling evidence against Jones was a composite sketch Rachel made with New Orleans police of the man who raped her.

"It looked almost identical to what Michael Lee Jones looked [like] in the courtroom," said Thrumston.

At trial, the defense tried to argue the sex with Roessler was consensual. But with DNA hits from multiple women all claiming rape and Rachel's sketch, the jury didn't buy it.

"Within a couple hours, the jury came back and said he's guilty," Thrumston recalled.

Jones was sentenced to 24 years to life in prison. By the time he's eligible for parole, he'll be just shy of his 60th birthday.

"I feel happy," Budnytska said. "The criminal is where he's supposed to be, and he is never gonna hurt nobody in the future."

"You need to go through this -- as painful and as traumatic and embarrassing as all of that might be," Rachel said. "You have to do that, because you never know how many other women may have been impacted by this person."

For Brennan, it's a fitting end to a tough case

"I've been doing this since 1975," said Brennan. "In the multitude of cases I worked in my time ... this was, by far, the most rewarding."

Click here to watch the full story on a special two-hour "20/20."

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...