Police probe cold cases in Reno and Las Vegas | NevadaAppeal.com

Police probe cold cases in Reno and Las Vegas

The Associated Press

RENO (AP) — Reno police want to know if a Missouri man arrested in the killing of a girl in North Las Vegas decades ago is linked to the 1990 kidnapping and murder of a Reno girl.

Jasper Everett Goddard, 62, was arrested in Ozark, Mo., last month during a routine traffic stop. Police there discovered he was a registered sex offender and was wanted on a felony warrant from Nevada in the 1986 death of April Marie Rhodes.

Authorities say he was linked to Rhodes’ death through DNA evidence.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Reno police have been following the North Las Vegas case because of the similarities to the 1990 kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Monica DaSilva.

DaSilva went missing from her bedroom in an apartment on Idlewild Drive that year. Three weeks later, her skull, ribs and collarbone were found in a remote canyon in Storey County in October 1990.

Similarly, Rhodes was found brutally beaten and raped in a vacant storage room in 1986 next door to her family’s North Las Vegas apartment complex.

“We were looking at them simply because of similarities, but we don’t have anything to connect the two,” Reno police Sgt. Alan Salter told the newspaper.

At the time of their abductions, both Rhodes and DaSilva were 7 years old. They were both sleeping near windows in rooms with their brothers. And when each family woke up the next morning in similarly low-budget, ground-level apartments — their daughters were gone. Both brothers were left unharmed.

Goddard was also convicted on charges of sodomy and sexual abuse of an 8-year-old girl in 1989 in Springfield, Mo., according to the National Sex Offender Public Registry. Green County, Mo., records show Goddard was sentenced to five years in prison in July 1990, about two months before DaSilva went missing, but records did not say when he began that sentence, the Springfield News-Leader has reported.

Goddard was booked into the Christian County jail and is awaiting extradition to Nevada. He faces several charges in the Rhodes’ case, including murder with a deadly weapon.

“If we reach the point where we are able to make a link or develop enough to say that (Goddard) is responsible we will of course seek warrant and arrest,” Salter said concerning whether there is any connection with the DaSilva case. “But as of now we have no credible information that the two cases are linked.”