On March 15, 1976, Lena Triano, a quiet secretary living in Westfield, New Jersey was found bound, raped, strangled and stabbed at the age of 57. Almost four decades later, an arrest is finally being made for her murder.
Triano had lived alone and worked as a secretary at a lawyer's office in Newark. Maria Sclama, 74, a friend of Triano said that the woman had looked after neighborhood children, loaned money to a friend and liked to speak Italian, reported the Star Ledger.
After 36 years unsolved homicide can finally come to a close through the use of forensic evidence. According to the Daily Mail, Carlton R. Franklin, who was 15-years-old at the time of Triano's death, is the alleged killer.
There were no suspects, no clues, nothing left behind -- it was a very difficult case, said retired Union County detective Ray Lynch. It's frustrating, especially when you see the condition of this woman and what was done to her. It didn't seem to make much sense why someone would hurt her.
Franklin had lived a few hundred feet away from Triano, reports the Star Ledger. At some point between March 14 and 15 the 15-year-old had come in through an unlocked back door, hog-tied her, raped, strangled, beat and stabbed her until puncturing her lungs.
The now 51-year-old Franklin has spent almost two decades in prison for kidnapping and robbery since murdering Triano. He was released from prison in 1999. According to the Star Ledger, Franklin barely reacted when he was arrested at his job on Monday. He didn't seem surprised, said Sgt. Harvey Barnwell of the prosecutor's homicide task force.
While Franklin didn't seem surprised, his family did. Why would he kill her? asked his 71-year-old mother, Rosetta Franklin, in a phone interview with the Star Ledger. Why would you take a life when you can't give a life? Jesus have mercy. How could he have lived with this all of these years.
I am so sorry for what he did, continued Rosetta Franklin. I am very sorry.