Husband arrested for wife's 1985 cold case murder in Syracuse

Colleen Meadow

A former Syracuse resident living in Georgia is under arrest after police say he murdered his estranged wife nearly 30 years ago.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler held a news conference Thursday morning to confirm the arrest of Ronald S. Meadow for second degree murder in the 1985 death of his then-wife, Colleen Meadow. Colleen was found strangled in her Fordham Road, Syracuse apartment on March 4, 1985, and the case had gone unsolved for more than 28 years.

Ron Meadow was arrested Monday by deputies executing a warrant in Douglas County, Georgia with the help of New York State Police. He has waived extradition and is expected to be arraigned in Syracuse later this month. Deputies say Meadow was working at a Mitsubishi plant outside of Atlanta, and was taken into custody without incident. It couldn't immediately be learned from prosecutors if he has a lawyer.

Meadow told investigators in 1985 that he was driving outside Syracuse for hours during a snow storm before his wife was slain. She was found tied up and choked to death.

Fitzpatrick says prosecutors were able to move forward with the case after forensic scientists determined there was a very small amount of DNA evidence from the original 1985 crime scene tying Meadow to the murder. He says testing the DNA was "somewhat risky" because the sample was so small, and scientists warned that testing that small of a sample could use it up, not leaving any for future testing.

Fitzpatrick and the Syracuse Police cold case unit decided to take the chance and move forward with the testing, and they say the evidence links Ron Meadow to the murder.

Both Fitzpatrick and Fowler credited the cold case unit for the long hours of work put into the case. Fowler says the four officers assigned to the cold case unit are working on 89 other open murder cases.

Colleen Meadow's obituary says she was a native of Syracuse, and was raised in North Syracuse. She worked at Niagara Mohawk and had a degree from Syracuse University.

Information from CNY Central reporter Alex Dunbar and the Associated Press was used in this story.

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