An arrest tonight in the murder of a beloved RIT professor. Edline Chun was brutally murdered and dumped in Tryon Park on February 3rd. Six different agencies stretching from Rochester to New York City worked together to build a case against Jerrell Henry and his girlfriend Natalie Johnson. Many of Chun's friends were in court today.
Although Edline Chun didn't have family in Rochester, she had many friends that were like a second family to her. They say news of an arrest was the beginning of closure for them.
Police charged 26 year old Natalie Johnson and 28 year old parolee Jerrell Henry with second degree murder. They say Johnson and Henry robbed Henry's long-time neighbor Edline Chun on February 3rd. Shot her twice in the head inside her Hazelwood Terrace home. Then stole her car and dumped her body in Rochester's Tryon park. Chun's body was discovered by a Monroe County maintenance worker three days later.
"There's not much we can do to undo the events that were so tragic that ended her life. But, as public servants, there are some things we can do to make sure those people who were responsible are brought to justice," said Tom Richards, Rochester Mayor.
Chun was an activist with about a dozen community organizations. She was also an adjunct professor at RIT's College of Imaging Arts and sciences. A small group, calling itself "The Lunch Group" ate together everyday.
"If Edline wasn't teaching, she would come in just to have lunch with everybody. She was always connected and never missed a single day," said Lauren Cardella, Chun's RIT colleague.
When Chun didn't show up for lunch on Monday, "The Lunch Group" knew something was terribly wrong.
"It was a nightmare that turned to actual reality. That numbness finally subsided and we realized, okay, she's really not coming back," said Cardella.
Cardella says the friends shared more than a sandwich, they shared conversation.
"She was a very kind, compassionate person. She would bend over backwards to help anybody," added Cardella.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley says evidence will be presented to a grand jury before a preliminary hearing takes place Wednesday, March 6. Henry and Johnson pleaded not guilty. They're being held in the Monroe County jail without bail.