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Man charged with murder after calling news station with details about cold case

Victim: Carrie Ann Jopek
Victim: Carrie Ann Jopek

A man has been charged with second-degree murder after he called a US TV news station and discussed details of a cold case involving a 13-year-old girl whose body was found more than 30 years ago.

Prosecutors say Jose Ferreira is responsible for the death of Carrie Ann Jopek of Milwaukee, who went missing in 1982.

The case resurfaced last week when local station WISN 12 News reported that Ferreira called its newsroom and discussed the case.

"His story was very detailed - disturbingly so," said news director Chris Gegg, and the station called police because of "several red flags".

Ferreira was later arrested in the case which had long been dormant.

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

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

She 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.

"I blame myself sometimes," Ms Tousignant said. "She would've snuck over there anyway."

Ms Tousignant started searching the neighbourhood when she realised her daughter was missing, and even went to the home where her body was later found.

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

"She spent two of her birthdays underneath that porch," Ms Tousignant said.

Ferreira was a teenager when Carrie Ann died. He is now 50, and it is not clear why he called the TV station.

He remains in custody in Milwaukee County Jail.