CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Tuesday will mark the 21st anniversary of the brutal murders of 11-year-old Robin Cornell and 32-year-old Lisa Story. The two were killed in their apartment in Cape Coral in the early morning hours of May 10, 1990.
Jan Cornell was at her boyfriend’s home on the evening of May 9, 1990 watching television when she fell asleep. She awoke and went home to discover that her daughter and roommate had been killed inside of the apartment.
Since that day, Cape Coral Police Detectives have been investigating the case. In the 21 years that have followed, many detectives have worked on the murders. By definition, the Cornell/Story Investigation is a “Cold Case” however the attention and dedication given to solving the horrific crime is anything but cold.
At no time has the investigation been without an assigned detective. Over the years, investigators have gathered evidence and moved closer to finding the killer. Cape Coral Police Detectives have collected DNA from the crime scene and have developed a “DNA Profile” of the suspect. This has been the biggest development to date. Hundreds of individuals have been interviewed and had their DNA compared to the profile. Unfortunately, to date there has been no match. The Cornell/Story case has been profiled on America’s Most Wanted three times. All three airings produced tips and information for the investigators.
Detective Christy Jo Ellis has been working the Cornell/Story case for the last several years. Detective Ellis is a 20-year veteran of CCPD and has been a Major Crimes Detective for nearly a decade. Detective Kurt Grau, a 21-year veteran of the force and seasoned detective, and Ellis pour over evidence and new leads often. In fact, a viable tip came in just last Thursday. An informant provided information to another law enforcement agency in Florida who gave the information to Detectives Ellis and Grau. They are actively pursuing the lead.
“The fact that we still receive information proves that this case is very much alive,” Detective Ellis said. “The DNA Profile is a vital piece of evidence. It’s as if we have a key to the car, we just need to figure out who the car belongs to.”
Detectives maintain a close relationship with Jan Cornell. Ellis and Cornell speak routinely about the case. “It is a tremendous advantage having Jan available on speed dial. She is an active participant in this investigation. She is able to recall people from that time and help put pieces of evidence into context,” said Ellis regarding her relationship with Jan Cornell.
“Every day I pray for justice for Robin and Lisa," Cornell said. "I know that someone out there knows what happened. Please come forward with any information you may have about this case. I made a promise over twenty years ago that I would never stop looking.”