BROOKLYN, N.Y. — With the parents of strangled honors student Chanel Petro Nixon standing beside him, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced Wednesday that Chanel's former middle school classmate Veron Primus finally has been indicted for her murder, nearly 10 years to the day that she vanished on Father's Day 2006.
The 16-year-old Nixon said Primus was supposed to meet her that Sunday in June 2006 at an Applebee's Restaurant on Fulton Street to file job applications. The District Attorney made his announcement in a plaza right next to the restaurant.
"This case was always a high priority for me," Thompson said.
Primus had told Nixon's parents and best friend that the 16-year-old "stood him up" and never arrived at Applebee's. Her body was found four days later, folded up in a garbage bag on Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn.
The teen who wanted to be a psychiatric nurse was a junior at Boys and Girls High School.
Police recovered forensic evidence at the time and took inconsistent statements from Primus, but the former district attorney didn't think it was enough to bring the case to a grand jury in 2006.
The NYPD Cold Case Squad received a huge break in the case on April 15 this year, when police on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines rescued a woman who said Primus had held her captive for 3 1/2 months.
When the woman, Mewanah Hadaway, was de-briefed, she told investigators that Primus had spoken to her about Chanel's murder, said "he knew who did it," and was even carrying a 2006 newspaper clipping about the case.
PIX11 News interviewed Hadaway in St. Vincent shortly after her rescue, and she tearfully recounted her ordeal. PIX11 News had been tipped about Primus' new legal troubles on the Mary Murphy Mystery Facebook page.
Another person on St. Vincent said Primus had made statements about the New York case.
The two NYPD investigators who had flown to St. Vincent to interview former captive Hadaway, detectives Evelyn Gutierrez and Jason Palamara, joined their supervisor, Lt. Dave Nilson, to represent the NYPD's Cold Case Squad and its role in pushing the case forward.
District Attorney Thompson said Primus remains in a St. Vincent prison after being charged with the fatal stabbing of a real estate woman, Sharleen Greaves.
Knives and a car key connected to Greaves' November 2015 killing were recovered among Primus' possessions after Hadaway was rescued in April.
Primus found himself in trouble in New York in the years after Chanel's body was discovered. Two women accused him of rape, but a judge acquitted him at a bench trial. Then Primus was convicted of violating an Order of Protection secured by an ex-girlfriend.
After his term in a New York State prison was completed, the United States deported him to his birthplace of St. Vincent in June 2015.
By Nov. 13, 2015, Greaves, the real estate agent, was discovered dead in her office. Primus wasn't charged with the Greaves murder, until after Hadaway was rescued from captivity.
The NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce thanked PIX 11 for its reporting on the case. Boyce said tips we received from viewers would be reviewed to see if Primus was involved in any other unsolved cases.
Nixon's family will hold its annual March for Justice this Saturday, June 18, which is the exact 10-year anniversary of Nixon's disappearance.
Nixon's mother, Lucita Petro Nixon, appealed for more witnesses to come forward with information to make the New York case against Primus more solid.
"If you know something, please say something," she pleaded.