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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Christie Mullins Cold Case Closes 40 Years Later; Murder Suspect ID'd

In a press conference on Friday, Columbus Police say the man who found Mullins' body - Henry Newell Jr. - was responsible for her death.
who-killed-christie-mullins

An investigation into the 1975 murder of a teen in Clintonville has finally come to an end.

In a press conference on Friday, Columbus Police say the man who found Mullins' body - Henry Newell Jr. - was responsible for her death.  

The case begins on August 23, 1975.

The body of 14-year-old Christie Mullins was found tied up and beaten to death in the woods behind Graceland Shopping Center.   

Police charged Jack Carmen, who was mentally challenged, with murder.  However, after a trial, he was acquitted of the charges.

Following Carmen’s acquittal, the search for Mullins’ killer had gone cold.  But just last year, police re-opened the case after renewed public interest and uncovering potentially new evidence.

On Friday, Columbus Police say Newell - who died in 2013 - would have been charged with the crime if he were still alive.  Police also issued an apology to the Mullins family for the lack of action taken in the case to pursue Newell as a suspect.

 

 

"What I'm going to tell you might shock you.”

In 2014, a woman told 10TV shocking news about the Mullins case: her uncle confessed to killing Mullins.  Pam Brown said her uncle, Henry Newell Jr. - the man who found Christie's body - told her he murdered the 14-year-old. 

It was a story Newell – known as “Uncle JR” or “Junior” told her at 16-years-old that cemented her belief that he took Mullins’ life.

"(Do) you remember when you (were) little and you always heard about the Christie Mullins girl?" Brown said Newell told her.  "What I'm going to tell you might shock you,’ (and) he said that he did kill her.”

"I love him dearly, but he was a mean person," Brown remembered of Newell.

Brown says Newell laid out the horrific details of that fateful August day. 

Newell said he and Mullins were neighbors, and the teen was sitting on a guard rail behind the Graceland Shopping Center.  They talked briefly and later went into a wooden area behind the shopping center.  Newell then told Brown he made a move and Mullins fought back.

"At that point, he said he tied her up," explained Brown.  "He said she wouldn't stop screaming, so he picked up a two-by-four and just started bashing her in the head with it."

He claimed he ran back to the house, where his wife and Brown's parents were.

"He got my Aunt Pam and my dad - who was asleep with my mom at the time – (and asked) them to go down with him and tell them that they found the body while they were hiking," Brown recalled.

Brown's mother would not go on camera, but told 10TV she saw blood on Junior's shirt and, like most family members, believes Junior did it.

Brown says her uncle confessed that he blamed the murder on a drinking buddy because he was an easy target.

She says the murder was an open secret in the family, but no one came forward for fear of the repercussions, herself included.  Brown regrets keeping her silence so long.

"I just want the Mullins family to know I held it in for many years and I regret that by all means.  I would like to see them get closure, more than anything."

Henry "Junior" Newell died in 2013 and was never arrested or charged in connection to the case.