Melinda Snyder murder was covered in “Sleeping with Death,” which airs on Oxygen every Sunday at 7 p.m.
Melinda Snyder was shot while being accosted by an intruder at her home in South Carolina while she was dozing off.
On January 23, 1990, a panicked 911 call broke the stillness of the night in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
When detectives got to the site, they discovered Melinda fighting for her life. Only a nightgown pulled up over her chest was visible on her.
Melinda, a valued teacher’s aide and recent college graduate who was transported to the hospital, passed away a few hours later.
The police investigation followed up
After Melinda Snyder, 22, who had been shot, was discovered in her bedroom, the police conducted an investigation.
Strange noises and a huge boom woke her up, and her roommate, who had been sleeping in her room, found her.
Officers looked for signs of a suicide attempt based on the 911 report made by Melinda’s roommate, who had called her brother and ex-boyfriend before police arrived.
There was no gun, but there was a used 22 cartridge. The roommate’s 911 report was suspicious, but she explained what had happened to the cops.
She claimed that noises from Melinda’s room and someone using the restroom woke her up.
Detectives initially identified three suspects: Melinda’s ex-boyfriend, her brother, and her roommate, who had only known her for six months.
Investigators examined the murder site and discovered no evidence of a struggle or forced entry; however, they did gather shoe prints from the restrooms.
Melinda had only been shot once, according to an autopsy. She showed no signs of sexual trauma or defensive wounds.
The case took a new turn on March 8. The roommate’s brother’s shoes perfectly matched the shoe prints found at the crime scene.
When Bryant ran out of options, he again focused on the autopsy report. He asked that the evidence be rechecked for signs of sexual assault, and Semen was discovered in the second analysis.
Investigators asked Cronell, Melinda’s ex, and the roommate’s brother for blood samples. The former partner agreed but was determined not to be a match.
The other two men refused, and authorities were powerless to compel them.
However, He approached the investigators about a year later and offered to provide a blood sample, and he wasn’t a good fit.
He claimed that his shoe prints were left behind when he assisted Melinda in moving furniture.
Two and a half years after Melinda’s murder, on July 24, 1992, prosecutors took a blood sample from Cronell.
It matched DNA discovered on Melinda’s body. For first-degree burglary, criminal sexual conduct, and murder, Cronell, who was 27 at the time, was detained in March 1993.
The prosecution presented the theory of the crime. Cronell used the key he had access to enter Melinda’s house, killing her after robbing her as he crept inside.
He was found guilty on all counts by the jury in 1994. He received a life sentence for the murder accusation, a 30-year sentence for the sexual assault charge, and both burglary charges.
Because of legal requirements and the fact that the murder took place in 1990, Cronell was granted parole after 20 years.
His requests for release, though, have been turned down. Melinda’s parents have attended each parole hearing.