16 Years after he confessed to killing 13-year-old Heather Dawn Church, Robert Charles Browne's confession to killing 48 other women and men is public knowledge. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office made the anouncement Thursday, following a 4-year investigation.
At the time of Church's disappearance, Sandy Messler lived next-door to Browne.
"I didn't trust him," said Messler, "but when Heather went missing, I never thought of him."
Church was reported missing from her Elbert County home on September 17, 1991. Browne later confessed to kidnapping and murdering Church and went to prison for the crime in 1995. Messler has since bought the property where Browne once lived. She says most people who live in the area now are new and didn't know about the murder. Messler says she's never been eager to change that.
"I don't like to talk about it... it brings back old memories."
Messler says even given its magnitude, Thursday's announcement didn't jar her like the one she heard 16 years ago.
"I don't think it hit as hard as when I heard they arrested Heather's killer, that his last name was Browne and that he lived a half-mile north of me."