The Latest: Now-grown witnesses key in 1982 cold case
RHINELANDER (AP) -- The Latest on the recent arrest of a man accused of killing his wife 36 years ago (all times local):
The lead investigator of a 1982 cold case slaying in Minocqua says additional testimony from key witnesses who were minors at the time of the crime helped lead to this week's arrest of the victim's husband.
Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook says two additional detectives hired last fall also helped her department focus on re-interviewing the original witnesses in the case.
Hook says when the slaying of Barbara Mendez was re-investigated in 2002 and 2003, the focus was on DNA evidence. But, Hook says that is not the case this time with the case against Robin Mendez focusing on circumstantial evidence. Hook says the defendant had offered an explanation on why his DNA was found at the scene of the crime, the Park City Credit Union.
The daughters of a woman killed in Minocqua 36 years ago say they are grateful to investigators for working to finally make an arrest in the case -- the arrest of their father.
Christy Mendez says she and her sister, Dawn, deeply love and miss their mom, Barbara Mendez. The girls were 11 and 13 when their mother was bludgeoned to death at the Park City Credit Union in April 1982. The daughters were in the courtroom Tuesday when bond for Robin Mendez was set at $250,000. He was ordered not to contact his family members.
The 69-year-old Mendez is charged with first-degree murder. Dawn Mendez says she sees the arrest as a "bridge to a new beginning."
Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook says Mendez had been under suspicion for years.