Arrest In North Las Vegas Murder Ignites Hope In Reno Cold Case

A 61 year old registered sex offender has been arrested in a 27 year old kidnap murder of a North Las Vegas girl. Reno investigators will now be looking for any links to a similar cold case here.

April Rhodes, Monica DaSilva

RENO, NV - Few cases are etched into the memories of anyone living in Reno in 1990 as the kidnapping and murder of seven year old Monica DaSilva.

The thought of a young girl being snatched from her bedroom window in the middle of the night had every parent here watching their kids that much closer.

Four years earlier, families in North Las Vegas were just as shocked to hear of the abduction and murder of April Marie Rhodes.

The similarities between the two cases are difficult to ignore. Both victims seven years old, both taken from their apartment homes through the bedroom window.

Over the years investigators in both cities kept in touch, but the break came after Reno Police Detective Allan Fox requested a DNA sample from North Las Vegas P.D.

The sample checked against the growing DNA data base produced a match, a 61 year old registered sex offender living in Springfield, Missouri and, as it turned out, Jasper Everett Goddard had been living in the same apartment complex, just two doors away when April Rhodes was taken from her home.

Goddard is in custody in Missouri awaiting extradition. There's no evidence placing him in Reno at any time, but that possibility will be explored.

Goddard who was convicted of assault on a young child in Missouri fits the profile of a preferential predator preying on young children.

"He's in that prepubescent age range that we're looking at," says Fox.

But he's quick to add there's no evidence tying him to Reno or Monica DaSilva.

"Has he been up here or not? We're looking into that. It's still going to take a lot of phone calls, a lot of knocking on doors."

It may lead to a dead end. Still, the arrest in one cold case elsewhere, is enough to excite a detective working one here.

"We have to eliminate him," says Fox. "But when you eliminate a person that means you can move on to the person responsible."

And finding that person remains as important now as it was 23 years ago?

"Yes, because they're still out there and it's just a matter of not giving up."

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