Police: Arrest linked to 1997 cold case murder

By Carolyn Brewster

Published 02/20 2014 05:26PM

Updated 02/20 2014 08:18PM

A possible break in the unsolved murder of Dothan business owner Vernon North, killed in 1997. The break in the case came a few days ago when police arrested Christopher Conrad for allegedly stealing pain killers. After further investigation police charged Conrad for the 1997 armed robbery that happened the same night of the murder.

"We're hoping to bring this case to a conclusion and have either one or more people charged with murder," said Lieutenant Will Benny with the Dothan Police Department.

Police say the armed robbery happened on the same day that North was murdered. He was shot to death in a motor home near a shopping center on Ross Clark Circle where his business was located.

Former Police Chief John White says he remembers the case well.

"It was just one of those terrible things to happen when you're a police agency and a police chief and that's the unsolved murder at the hands of the unknown. It keeps you up at night but yea I remember our little debriefing after the crime scene was processed and there were no suspects. There were no witnesses we virtually had nothing to go on," says White.

But investigators now believe they will be able to close the case.

"I've spoken with the family or Mr. North, one of them who is an employee of the police department; they're happy with the results so far however it's a guarded happiness... We're going to conduct some more interviews and some more polygraphs until we get this case solved," said Benny.

Conrad is being held at the Houston County Jail without bail.

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