CMPD reopens investigation into 1990 murder

Kim Thomas was killed on July 27, 1990 at her home on Churchill Road.

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by BETH SHAYNE / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Beth: BShayne@WCNC.com

WCNC.com

Posted on February 17, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 18 at 12:25 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are taking a new look at one of the city's oldest and most prominent unsolved murder cases.

In July 1990, Kim Thomas, the wife of a successful doctor, was found stabbed to death in her home.

Four years later, her husband, Dr. Edward Friedland, was arrested for the murder but the charges were later dropped.

Now, police are reopening their case and sources say that DNA evidence points toward another man -- someone who is or has been in the system. We are told the evidence is "significant."

Friedland always maintained his innocence. He and his attorneys pointed the finger at a neighborhood handyman. In 1997, he sued Marion Gales for wrongful death and won. In 2008, Gales was arrested for the murder of Lacoya Martin. Her body was found behind a home on Oaklawn Avenue.

Investigators will not say if Gales is a suspect in their renewed investigation.

Two cold case detectives have been assigned to the case and they have made contact with some family members, telling them the status of this case has changed.  Kim Thomas' mother Helen tells NewsChannel 36 she has not been contacted. Her daughter, Kim's sister, broke the news to her.

Friedland is up-to-date on the new developments in his new home in Florida.

"This thing has been dragging on now for 20 years and it needs to get resolved. It's the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department's job to get this resolved," he told NewsChannel 36 Wednesday night.

Most of the homes on the Wendover area street where Thomas was killed are new, and so are the neighbors. The few that are left tell us they follow the case closely.

"When it first happened, the neighborhood was pretty much up in arms," Susan Johnson explained. She said she's always been hopeful police would close the case.

If you have information on the Thomas murder, call the Homicide Cold Case Unit at 704-336-2358 or Sgt. Mangum at 704-336-2294.

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