Police solve 1996 tanning bed murder casesPosted: Updated:
Metro police announced that it has received an indictment for first-degree murder against a man currently in prison for the 1996 murders of two college students working at a tanning salon.
Police said Patrick Lamont Streater, now 37, is formally accused of killing Tiffany Campbell and Melissa Dawn Chilton inside the Exotic Tan on Church Street on Feb. 22, 1996. Streater is Campbell's former boyfriend, according to police.
The store manager found the women dead just after 2 p.m. after he was unable to reach them by phone. Both women had been stabbed multiple times.
Police said at the time the women were stabbed by the bayonet off a military rifle.
"The indictment against Patrick Streater is the result of countless hours of detective work by Sgt. (Pat) Postiglione and his team," said Nashville police Chief Steve Anderson. "They worked diligently to uncover new pieces of the investigative puzzle, as well as put into place those pieces developed by other officers over the past 17 years.
"I know that Gail Chilton and Deborah Edmonds, the mothers of the victims, never lost hope. Neither did we."
Postiglione informed Streater on Wednesday that he was under indictment for murder in Nashville. Detectives had spoken to Streater several times over the years.
"For the first time, you all have noticed I am speechless," said Gail Chilton, mother of Melissa Chilton. "They are taking a killer off the streets to prevent future homicides. We can't change the past, but we can change the future for the city of Nashville."
"I want to thank every one," said Edmonds, Campbell's mother. "We take it day by day. Thank you so much for what you have done for us. Thank you very much."
Police did not know when Streater would return to Nashville. He is currently in prison in California serving a sentence for robbery.
The indictment of Streater brings to 55 the number of murder cases that have been cleared by the Metro Cold Case Unit since 2005.
"With the passage of time, these type cases become increasingly difficult for a variety of reasons," said District Attorney General Torry Johnson.
"This is a shining example of what the Cold Case Unit strives for every day," said Postiglione. "Sometimes a case is solved one year later, sometimes it is 17 years later, sometimes, as some of you know, it is solved 34 years later."
A formal hold has been placed on Streater with the California Department of Correction.
Suspect has violent history in California
Streater is serving a prison sentence after a series of at least eight violent crimes, including home invasions, in the Sacramento area.
According to KCRA in Sacramento, some of Streater's victims were elderly women who were attacked while they were home alone.
Rick Armstrong investigated the crimes for the Placer County Sheriff's Department in 2002.
"He pushed the door open, knocked an old lady down, put a pair of scissors to her neck, threatened to kill her, and took her money," Armstrong told KCRA in 2002.
Streater was finally caught in 2002 after attacking a woman napping in her car in a grocery store parking lot; he was wearing his security guard uniform.
Susan Lara witnessed Streater acting suspiciously in the parking lot and called the police.
"Something about the way he was acting just didn't seem right," Lara said.
During his crime spree, Streater was coaching sports at a Jesuit high school.
"He gave up weekends to come and work out with the kids. Always seemed to be really upbeat," Gerry Lane, an administrator at the school said after Streater's arrest in 2002.
Streater has two years left on his sentence in California.
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