Man charged in girl’s death says he pushed her down stairs

Author: the associated press
Published: Updated:
MGN Online

MILWAUKEE (AP) – A man charged with murder in the disappearance 33 years ago of a 13-year-old Milwaukee girl confessed to police that he pushed her down a flight of stairs to her death.

A criminal complaint dated Oct. 17 against 50-year-old Jose Ferreira and made available on Monday, says he told authorities that he pushed Carrie Ann Jopek during a party in 1982. He shoved her after she had changed her mind about going to the basement, where he thought they were going to “make out.”

He told police he saw her head hit the railing and wall and that she wasn’t moving when he walked down the stairs. He told authorities that he thought she was unconscious and used that as an opportunity to take advantage of her sexually.

The police document says he realized her neck was broken when he picked her up from the floor and saw her head was turned unnaturally. He buried her under a porch where her body was found 17 months later by someone doing repair work, according to the complaint.

The document says Ferreira was arrested Oct. 12, a day after his wife told police about his involvement in the decades-old case. That same day his wife went to police Ferreira called a mental health crisis hotline and discussed the death, the document says. Television station WISN Milwaukee also has said Ferreira called the newsroom and described the case in disturbing detail, which prompted them to call authorities.

Ferreira has been held in the Milwaukee County Jail.

He has been charged with second-degree murder and faces 20 years in prison.

His lawyer, Melissa Nepomiachi, has not responded to a call or email Monday morning.

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