Nursing home resident arrested for 1984 murder in Jeff Parish

Nursing home resident arrested for 1984 murder in Jeff Parish

JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - A 60-year-old Plaquemines Parish nursing home resident was arrested and jailed Wednesday in the rape and murder of a woman in 1984.

Donnie London, of River West Drive, faces first-degree murder in the death of  73-year-old Edna Kolman, whose body was discovered 31 years ago in vacant a lot near 318 Monticello Avenue in Jefferson. Kolman died as a result of asphyxia and strangulation.  She also suffered traumatic injuries during the sexual assault, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

Kolman was first reported missing to the JPSO on April 6, 1984. At the time of Kolman's death, she lived at 916 Monticello Avenue. She did not drive, but was often seen by neighbors walking throughout the neighborhood.

The investigation stalled after all leads were exhausted, JPSO said.

The Sheriff's Office said periodically, reviews are conducted on unsolved murders to determine if any new information is available. On Dec. 29, 2015, Capt. Dennis Thornton learned that the Crime Lab had developed a DNA genetic profile from evidence collected in the investigation. A DNA lab report confirmed a CODIS match between London and a piece of evidence collected from the victim. Based on the findings, Thornton began searching data bases in hopes of locating London. Investigators learned that London lived at 1237 General Ogden Street at the time of the murder. The murder scene on Monticello and London's address were close to each other.

Further research on London revealed that he was confined to a nursing home, his mobility was severely restricted and he was also bedridden. Based on the DNA findings, Thornton authored an arrest warrant on Jan. 16.

On Wednesday, Thornton and Sgt. Jeffery Rodrigue traveled to the nursing home, where they placed London under arrest. London was advised of his rights and then confessed, investigators said. London said he first saw Kolman walking near an open lot in the 300 block of Monticello Avenue on the date of her murder.  He said he approached her with the intent to rob her, but when she resisted, he escalated the violence by raping and killing her. With help from medical personnel, London was transported to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center and booked.

The Sheriff's Office said London has an extensive criminal history with 11 felony arrests for attempted aggravated rape, forcible rape, aggravated burglary, several simple burglary arrests and several drug violations.  London has convictions for simple burglary, possession of stolen things, a narcotics offense and aggravated battery.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.