Cold Case Bureau’s Success Leads to Sentencing in Decade-Old Murder

Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah‘s Cold Case Bureau shows promising results closing longstanding cases including a murder investigation from Yonkers.

The new bureau

Rocah created the Cold Case Bureau in 2021 after assuming her first term in office. Its mandate prioritizes the review of approximately 135 open homicide cases throughout Westchester County. The bureau means to utilize new advancements in scientific and digital forensics to renew investigations and make progress on these cases.

The unsolved murder of Pamela Graddick

On Sept. 4th, 2012, the body of Pamela Graddick was found wrapped in plastic between Rossmore Ave. and Midland Ave. near the Sprain Brook Parkway in Yonkers.

A decade later, the DA Office’s High Technology Crimes Unit obtained GPS location data and text messages from the victim’s phone. It discovered that the phone traveled from Graddick’s home in the Bronx to Yonkers and then back to the Bronx after her murder. Also, some of the text messages were between the victim and her girlfriend, Wanda Veguilla, following the murder.

This eventually led to a confession by Veguilla. She stated that she purchased a handgun from a gang-related associate and then shot Graddick “execution-style in the back of the head.” Veguilla and an accomplice then transported the victim’s body to Yonkers where it was left for a month before being discovered.

Westchester County Court Judge George Fufidio presided over this case. In April, Veguilla pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and tampering with evidence. The court scheduled her sentencing for today, June 15th, 2023. Judge Fufidio sentenced Wanda Veguilla to 20 years to life in prison for her admitted crimes.

Additional funding for cold case investigations

Because of this and other work from the Cold Case Bureau in DA’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded a $500,000 grant to support the prosecution of cold cases using DNA. The grant will fund an additional full-time assistant district attorney to prosecute cases where a suspect’s DNA has been identified.

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