Although police had a suspect for years, they never had enough evidence to charge him, Sgt. Darrell Price of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police cold case unit said at a news conference at CMPD headquarters Wednesday morning.
Relying on what they called improved crime lab technology, a police cold-case unit obtained a Mecklenburg County grand jury indictment on Monday charging suspect Louis Samuels, now 60, with first-degree murder.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Police found Hoey in a car on Ventura Way, in the Hidden Valley neighborhood in northeast Charlotte.
Samuels, now 60, was already in federal custody in Beckley Federal Correctional Institution in West Virginia on an unrelated conviction. He was scheduled to be released on June 18.
The federal Bureau of Prisons refused to release Samuels’ mugshot to The Charlotte Observer, saying in an email that “the Bureau of Prisons does not release inmate photographs due to privacy concerns.”
“It also involved one particular analyst who helped us go through each piece of evidence and actually made a suggestion that we hadn’t thought about at the time,” Price said.
Samuels and Hoey were acquaintances, Price said. He said cold case detectives remember Samuels as someone who was “extremely notorious” downtown in the early 1990s.
Created in 2003, CMPD’s homicide cold case unit has reviewed 178 homicides dating as far back as 1979 and has cleared 48 cases, according to CMPD’s release.