Franklin Romine

On May 23, 2023, police announced that Franklin Maywood Romine was the lead suspect in the murder of 16-year-old Sharron Prior in Longueuil, Quebec. The case has been cleared by exception due to the death of Romine, aged 36, in 1982.

Prior’s remains were found on April 1, 1975 in Longueuil. She disappeared on March 29, 1975 when she left her home in Pointe-St-Charles to meet friends at a local pizza parlor and was not seen again. She had been raped and beaten severely in the face. Her autopsy concluded that she died by suffocating on her own blood. A sample of the suspect’s DNA was obtained from a T-shirt that had been used to tie Prior’s hands behind her back during the assault. DNA was also found on items of Prior’s clothing, although it is not stated if this was semen.

The FGG investigation was undertaken by the Service de police Agglomération de Longueuil, beginning in June of 2022. There is currently no information concerning the forensic organization they partnered with, except that it is a lab in Montreal. The Likelihood Ratio reported by the lab was that it was 140 million times more likely that the DNA samples found on Prior’s body came from Romine than from any person drawn randomly from the Caucasian population.

Romine’s remains were ordered exhumed by a judge in Putnam County, West Virginia. Romine’s siblings had opposed the exhumation because they were concerned that their parents’ remains might also be disturbed as they are buried in the next plot. He was exhumed on May 2, 2023.

Romine was from Huntington, West Virginia, but he lived in the Montreal area at the time of Prior’s murder. Police state that there were similar attacks in the area including an attempted abduction of a woman at knifepoint in the same area of Pointe-St. Charles very close to the time of Prior’s murder. The description of that suspect matched Romine. Police also state that tire tracks found in the snow near Prior’s body are consistent with the tires of the vehicle owned by Romine at the time.

Romine’s family members confirmed that Romine had a history of sexual violence, with his brother stating that he had once tried to rape his wife. Romine was frequently imprisoned from about the age of 12 or 14 years until his death in 1982.

Romine was arrested in Montreal in 1975 as a result of an extradition request from the US that he be returned there to stand trial for a home invasion rape committed in Parkersburg, West Virginia in 1974. He was returned, and sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison. He died in a Verdun hospital shortly after his release. Police have not been able to determine the circumstances of his death, but they state it was a violent one.

Sharron’s mother, Yvonne Prior, is 85-years old. She has finally been able to receive some answers on who killed her daughter.

About 100 suspects were investigated by police over the years. It is not reported how many of them were requested to provide their DNA.

Associated Press. “Canadian Police Solve 48-Year-Old Case of Teenager’s Rape and Murder Using DNA.” The Guardian, May 23, 2023. Accessed May 25, 2023.

Cherry, Paul. “Body Exhumed in West Virginia in Investigation of Slain Montreal Teen.” Montreal Gazette, May 7, 2023. Accessed May 25, 2023.

Deland, Maxim. “Le meurtrier de Sharron Prior identifié 48 and plus tard grâce à son ADN.” TVA Nouvelles, May 23, 2023. Accessed May 25, 2023.


First Name Franklin
Last Name Romine
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started 2022-06-00
Case Cleared 2023-05-23
IGG Org nd


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1946 Sharron Prior 16 1975-03-29 Longueuil, QC Longueuil PD First degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.