An arrest has been made in a 31-year-old murder case in Rochester. Back in 1976, Michelle McMurray, 7, was found killed outside her home. News 8 Now spoke with her only family left in the area.
"This isn't just big for me and my family and the community,” said Gary Ruggles. “A monster's been removed. Who knows what this man's done.”
Gary Ruggles says that monster is James Everette Pressler. He’s the man who allegedly raped and killed his stepdaughter, Michelle.
"It's been tough over the last 30 years, but now justice is going to happen,” he said.
Ruggles says the announcement of the arrest gives him a sense of closure. Michelle's murder has affected his entire life.
“Looking through faces in a crowd, I'd see her, you know?”
And it has affected his life as the father of three other children.
“I've been an over protective father over the years, and it was hard for them to understand,” Ruggles said. “I hope they'll understand now.”
What Ruggles is finding hard to understand is how Pressler could have spent the last 31 years knowing what he did.
“It's just sure evil,” he said. “How do you respond to evil? I don't know. I really don't.”
Although he is happy an arrest has been made, there is still a tough road ahead. Pressler still has to return to New York State and go to trial in the same city where Michelle was killed.
“I really have to compose myself before, but I would like to tell him what he took away from me, my family, and all those that loved her.”
Ruggles says he hopes to hold a memorial for the little girl. He says he wants to community to learn more about Michelle, and he wants thank police, some of whom have spent their whole lives cracking this case.