TUNICA COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - For the past ten years, investigators in Tunica, Mississippi have not given up. Their hard work has led to charges in the 2002 murder of Joann Cornes.
For the first time in almost a decade, Joann Cornes' sister can visit Tunica without wondering who killed her sister.
"Just thank God first of all to be able to see this day happen," she said. "Mother passed in August 2011 and up until end her desire was for the murderer to be caught."
The man now charged with Cornes' murder is 29-year-old Marcus Martez Taylor. He was 18 when Tunica County Sheriff K.C. Hamp says he murdered Cornes.
Cornes and Taylor were both involved with drugs.
The sheriff's office confirms Cornes knew Taylor before her death. They both lived on the same street in Tunica. The grain company where her body was found is close; you can see it from the street where they lived.
Sheriff Hamp says Cornes was arrested a couple of days after Cornes' murder on drug charges. Her case grew cold, as Taylor was never connected to the killing until just recently.
Hamp says it took solving a separate cold case where Taylor was charged with an armed robbery and rape that happened five months before Cornes' murder.
"We had break in the case," Sheriff Hamp said. Taylor was indicted in February 2012 on charges of burglary, armed robbery and rape
Solving that case led investigators to new evidence. The state crime lab was able to tie it in with clues from Cornes' murder.
"I knew one day it would happen. We had prayed, we prayed," said Holmes.
Right now, Taylor's a prisoner in the Mississippi State Penitentiary. He's serving three years for selling marijuana. If convicted of Cornes' death, he faces a life sentence.