A judge sentenced Jerry Lee Fletcher, 71, to a life sentence on Friday for the murder of Gina Justi, then 14 years old, in 1971.
The young Town N’ County teenager was last seen at her home and searchers found her body in a nearby orange grove a day later.
Two years after the murder, Fletcher was found guilty of a similar murder in Illinois. This time, for killing a 13-year-old girl in a similar manner.
It was all thanks to the advances in DNA technology that allowed investigators to make the match and finally for Justi’s family, Friday was a day of mixed emotion.
"Just this last week it was 42 years since she died," said Tony Justi, Gina’s brother in an exclusive interview with Bay News 9 on Friday night.
There are many somber memories for Tony but finally some answers.
"The emotions I have about this day and the effect it had on my family don't involve him,” said Justi.
All of these years not knowing who killed his sister until now, he said.
Tony said they never gave up hope.
When the call came just years ago that investigators made a positive DNA match, Fletcher was already locked up in an Illinois prison for murdering a 13-year-old girl.
"When I looked at him today, the only thing that went through my mind is that this is the last guy who saw my sister alive," said Justi. "She always had this wonderful attitude about her that her personality, she always had a positive personality. A positive attitude of what was going on."
Tony said for him, there is no such thing as closure though it was important for him to be in court.
It was not just for him, he said, but for the rest of the family, especially Gina.
"It's just a closing of this chapter in a never-ending story," said Justi.
Fletcher is now serving a 50 to 150 year sentence in Illinois. If he lives to finish that sentence, he will then begin serving his life sentence here in Florida.
Pinellas County detectives believe Fletcher may have other victims.