Crime

Police charges suspect in 1991 cold case shooting

Yolanda Yvette Hoey’s son was 6 when the Charlotte mom was found fatally shot in the back seat of her car in 1991, police said.

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.

Hoey was 26 years old when she was found a week after her family reported her missing, according to a CMPD news release on Wednesday. She had been shot several times , police said.

Police found Hoey in a car on Ventura Way, in the Hidden Valley neighborhood in northeast Charlotte.

Yolanda Yvette Hoey.jpg

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

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.”

Price refused to say what evidence or new technology allowed CMPD to charge Samuels, but he said crime lab technology has greatly improved since Hoey was killed.

“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.

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