Today State Attorney Amira Fox announces the successful conclusion of a cold case, by the State Attorney’s Office Cold Case Homicide Unit, with the plea and sentencing of Luis Nieves.
Nieves pled to one count of Manslaughter with a Weapon, a First-Degree Felony. He was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by 15 years of probation.
Nieves, 55, was arrested in April 2019, after the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from the defendant’s daughter that Nieves confessed to murdering 35-year-old Thelma Storrs, who had babysat the defendant’s daughter when she was 5 years old. She had been reported missing in late February 1998 and her body was discovered three weeks later, on St. Patrick’s Day, in a cow pasture, in Tice. There was little evidence to solve the murder at that time and the case went cold for 21 years.
Based on the tip, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit and Major Crimes Unit investigated and did a controlled call, between the defendant and his now adult daughter. During that call the defendant confessed again, which led to the arrest of the defendant. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office then presented the case to the State Attorney’s Office.
The victim’s sister, Deanna Perez, told the court, “The grief and sorrow, I feel and felt of losing my sister, there are no words that can comprehend or say.” She and her family were grateful that this case is now resolved.
“I want to extend my sympathy to the family of Thelma Storrs. I hope today’s sentencing brings some relief to their pain. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office Cold Case Homicide Unit for their work in solving this case,” said State Attorney Fox.
State Attorney Fox formed the Cold Case Homicide Unit in January 2019, just after being elected State Attorney. This was one of the first cases State Attorney Fox assigned to the unit, following the defendant’s arrest by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Cold Case Homicide Unit Assistant State Attorney Dan Feinberg and Assistant State Attorney Olivia Ferrell handled the case.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office