The Murder of Tryna Middleton

In the night of September 21st, 1984, 14-year old Tryna Middleton and her two friends were on their way home from a high school football game. A few hours later Tryna Middleton was found stabbed to death in a deserted park area in Cleveland.

As Tryna's two friends would later report to the Cleveland Homicide Unit, all three of them were walking on Glynn Road as a car pulled up next to them. An African-American male got out, ran up to them and tried to snatch all three. He succeeded to grab Tryna and drove off with her, while the two of them escaped and called the police.

The homicide units from Cleveland and the neighboring East Cleveland, where the abduction had taken place, began investigating the case. The two eyewitnesses gave a description of the abductor and the color and type of car he had been driving. The search for both the man and the vehicle remained unsuccessful for months, until the evening of December 6th, 1984.

The Abduction of Melinda G.

On December 6th, 1984, 11-year old Melinda G. walked home from a nearby grocery store. It was already dark. The night before it had snowed heavily, so the streets and sidewalks were covered with a thick layer of snow.

When she was nearly home, Melinda was attacked by an unknown man, who grabbed her, threw her into his car and drove off . Inside her home, Melinda's sister saw what was going on through the window and alerted her mother. The mother bolted out the door, dressed only in a light nightgown and slippers and chased after the car.

She succeeded to grab the handle of the driver's door. The driver made a click on the door locks and increasingly panicky tried to accelerate. With the mother hanging on to his door and pushing the car with her hips, the vehicle started to slide on the icy street.

At that moment, two neighbors happened to leave their house. They saw the mother being dragged on by a car and screaming at her daughter inside to jump out. The girl eventually succeeded to open the passenger's side door and rolled out of the moving car into the snow.

The neighbors wrote down the license plate. The driver escaped yet was arrested shortly after. This man was Romell Broom.

A few days later Romell Broom was put in a lineup with a four other men. The lineup was viewed by the two eyewitnesses of the Tryna Middleton murder, still unresolved in December '84. They identified him as the man, who on September 21st, had dragged their friend into his car and driven off with her.

When the detectives from the Cleveland homicide unit interviewed Romell Broom about his whereabouts on the night of September 21st, he made contradictory statements to them, which made him a suspect in the homicide of yet another 14-year old girl. The alibi he gave the investigators for the Tryna Middleton murder, put him in close proximity of the scene where the body of Gloria Pointer was found.

The Murder of Gloria Pointer

On the morning of December 6th, 1984, less than eight hours before the failed abduction of Melinda, the body of 14-year old Gloria Pointer, daughter of Yvonne Pointer was found. Gloria had been dragged down a metal fire escape and into the basement of an apartment building close to her school. There she was raped and beaten to death.

Romell Broom was a person of interest in Gloria's homicide. The detectives believed he killed her. Yvonne Pointer asked the question how Romell Broom could be the murderer while his blood group didn't match the blood group of the sperm found at the crime scene. Yvonne Pointer was labeled uncooperative. The investigation in the Gloria Pointer case was put to a stop. Gloria's case remained unsolved – until May 2013.