In a Thursday press conference, it was announced that an arrest was made in the 33-year-old murder case of Tammy Tracey.

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The Tracey family had put up billboards around town in May of this year asking if there was anyone out there who may have new information on the Rockford 1987 cold case.

It seems their efforts weren't for not as an arrest was made in the case as of Thursday afternoon.

In a Thursday press conference Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross, Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea, Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana, and Illinois State Police Commander Christopher Endress made the announcement in the case's major break.

Jessie Smith, 64, was arrested Thursday in Albany, Georgia.

Jesse Smith Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office
Jesse Smith Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office

Smith lived in Rockford on Willard Avenue as recently as 2001 and is said to have known the Tracey family.

Hite Ross said at the conference:

The filing of these charges is the culmination of the tenacious efforts of all of the law enforcement agencies who worked on this murder investigation. The patience of the Tracey family during this time period is to be commended,”


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