Man Charged After Calling Milwaukee TV Station About Girl Missing Since 1982

MILWAUKEE — Authorities have charged a man with second-degree murder after he called a Milwaukee TV station and discussed details of a cold case involving a seventh-grade girl whose body was found more than 30 years ago.

Prosecutors say Jose Ferreira is responsible for the death of 13-year-old Carrie Ann Jopek, who went missing in 1982. The case resurfaced last week when WISN-TV reported that Ferreira called its newsroom and discussed the case.

Image: Carolyn Tousignant with photo of her daughter, Carrie Ann Jopek
Carolyn Tousignant holds a photo of her daughter, Carrie Ann Jopek, at her home Monday in Milwaukee. Carrie Antlfinger — AP

"His story was very detailed — disturbingly so," Chris Gegg, the station's news director, said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

Gegg didn't elaborate, but he said the station called police because of "several red flags."

"It's been 33 years since she's been gone," the girl's mother, Carolyn Tousignant, said after Ferreira was arrested. "I've been praying for this day."

Carrie disappeared after she was suspended from school for roaming the halls. Tousignant said her daughter got kicked out on purpose so she could go to a house party.

Image: Jose Ferreira
Jose Ferreira of Millwaukee. Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office via AP

Tousignant said the school called and gave her the option of picking the girl up from the office, but she chose not to because they lived only a block away. It's a decision she has come to live with.

"I blame myself sometimes," the girl's mother said. "She would've snuck over there anyway."

The case went quiet until someone repairing an old deck came across the girl's body 17 months after her disappearance.

"I never put it out of my mind," Tousignant said. "Every time I watch 'Cold Case' or some other detective show, I would hope and pray one of these days we get the person who did that to Carrie."

"I miss her," she added, "so much."