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Couple charged in 2007 murder

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RIVERSIDE, Mo. – Following a grand jury decision, two people have been charged with murder seven years after the crime took place.

Back on Sept. 1, 2007, Charles V. Cammisano was found dead inside his Riverside home, and his former wife and her current husband have been charged with his murder. On Dec. 12 of this year, a Platte County grand jury charged Letti Strait, 54, and Terry Strait, 58, with first-degree murder.

“Often it’s said that justice never sleeps, and in this case we weren’t going to rest until we brought the people we believe responsible for Charles Cammisano’s death to justice,” Eric Zahnd, Platte County Prosecuting Attorney, said. “It’s been a long time coming, but many cases take a significant amount of resources to investigate.”

As reported at the time of the murder, a family member, who had been unable to contact Cammisano, found his body, which had been shot several times, lying in a pool of blood inside his Riverside home.

At the time Cammisano’s vehicle, which was recovered later in downtown Kansas City, Mo., was missing from the residence.

Over several days, almost 100 leads were investigated by a 17-member metro squad. Over many years, however, Riverside police continued the investigation, ultimately resulting in the charges issued by the grand jury on Dec. 12. The Straits were arrested later that day.

According to a news release, Zahnd said, “These charges are the result of tireless police work by the Riverside Police Department and the relentless efforts of Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Joe Vanover and other prosecutors in my office. It is often said that ‘justice never sleeps.’ In this case, we were never going to rest without doing everything we could to obtain justice for the family and friends of Charles Cammisano.”

Zahnd told FOX 4 on Monday that the charges are a step forward for Cammisano’s children.

“As you can imagine they were very happy to hear about the charges that have been filed,” he said. “For his brothers and sisters, this is an important step forward for them.”

Retired FBI agent Jeff Lanza said it's likely investigators got their hands on new information.

“Sometimes a cold case gets revived, it gets hot again when someone comes forward with information that the prosecutors or investigators didn’t have before,” he said.

Letti Strait is being held in the Platte County Jail on $1,000,000 cash-only bond. Terry Strait was arrested in Kansas and is being held there pending extradition.

The Straits each face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder.