Suspect in court 25 years after Fall River murder

© Gayle Botelho

A man accused of killing a Fall River woman 25 years ago faced arraignment Monday.

Daniel Tavares pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of 32-year-old Gayle Botelho in 1988.

"I felt relieved, knowing that justice is finally going to be served, give us some closure, if there is such a thing as closure," said Cindy Vanasse, Botelho's sister.

Vanasse and Beverly Souza, another sister, held up pictures of Botelho in court.

"For people to realize we didn't forget her. To the media and most people, she's a 25-year-old cold case. To us, she was our sister," Vanasse said.

Tavares's arraignment was brief. No details were revealed about a motive or what led up to the killing. The district attorney's office has only said Botelho was stabbed to death.

Her remains were found 12 years after she disappeared, buried behind a home on June Street in Fall River where Taveras once lived.

It took another 13 years to bring Tavares to justice, after authorities said a witness who was his alibi changed his story.

It was a long 25 years for one woman's family, who despite this major development in the case, will never get over their tremendous loss.

"We've all been robbed. I've been robbed a sister, her children been robbed a mother, her grandchildren been robbed a grandmother, my mother's been robbed a daughter," Vanasse said.

Tavares, 47, is already serving a life sentence in Washington state for killing a couple there in 2007.

He was recently brought back to Massachusetts to face the murder charge in this case. He is due back in court next month.