BSO announces DNA match in Pompano Beach woman’s 1994 murder; suspect deceased

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony and members of BSO’s Cold Case Homicide Unit and crime lab announced an update in a 1994 cold case homicide Tuesday morning.

The news conference began at 11 a.m.

The case involves the killing of 89-year-old Lillian DeCloe in her Pompano Beach home in April 1994.

In 2019, BSO investigators re-opened her case and found DNA on her nightgown, as the killer had sexually assaulted her, Tony said.

BSO had FDLE run the DNA and found it was a close match to a man who had spent time in a Florida prison. The man was a relative to a man named Johnny Mack Brown, who lived down the street from DeCloe, he said.

Brown, a Vietnam veteran who suffered from PTSD and drug addiction, died more than a decade ago, officials said. Investigators exhumed his body and found a DNA match to Brown.

“When a murder is committed in any part of this county it creates a shockwave and devastation, of fear, and uncertainty and insecurity in the environments in which we live,” Tony said. “That doesn’t go away when a suspect dies, it doesn’t go away with the witness dies, it doesn’t go away when the victim, if they’re killed, (is) gone, those stains still stay within this community.”

BSO now considers the case closed and family members said they feel DeCloe can finally rest in peace.

About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.