NEWTON, Iowa Family and friends gathered outside the Jasper County Courthouse on Monday prepared for a somber vigil to honor the victims of a gruesome murder mystery.
But after news of an arrest, 31 years to the day, they rejoiced.
Terri Supino, 53, was arrested and charged in connection with the Copper Dollar Ranch murders, authorities said.
Melisa Gregory, 17, and Steven Fisher, 20, were killed March 3, 1983, at the ranch near Newton.
Supino of Altoona was Fisher's wife, authorities said. Supino and Fisher were separated at the time of the killings. They had two children. Fisher was dating Gregory at the time.
Supino avoided authorities for more than three decades, living just three towns west of the crime scene in nearby Altoona.
"Deep down, I think everybody has known there was a connection there somewhere," said Melisa's sister-in-law, Karen Gregory.
Fisher and Gregory were found dead on the Copper Dollar Ranch, where Fisher worked, about four miles northwest of Newton. Autopsies found that they died of head injuries.
Candles lined the entrance to the Jasper County Courthouse on Monday night.
"The sad part about it is the loss of the two lives but how it destroyed so many other lives in its wake," Karen Gregory said.
Lisa Gregory said she's forgiven the woman who police said brutally beat her sister to death and was brought to tears knowing her family has secured a sense of closure.
"I know that my mom, Ida, and Melisa and Stevie, and Stevie's mom, Thelma, I know that they're dancing. They're looking down on us and they know that we are happy," Lisa Gregory said.
Supino is being held in the Jasper County Jail pending bail of $400,000.
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