OGDEN — In 1983, Greg Seamons was 15 years old, and seemingly an average Ogden teenager.
He was not a person whom police or neighbors suspected of raping and killing a young girl who lived in his neighborhood.
"Why would anybody? He was just another kid going to school," said William Burton, who was 13 when the body of his neighbor, 11-year-old Rebecca Lemberger, was found in a shed.
But prosecutors now say the teenager was responsible for Rebecca's death, which had been classified as a cold case homicide for nearly three decades.
Seamons, who turns 45 on Wednesday, was charged Friday in 2nd District Court with murder and rape, both first-degree felonies.
Prosecutors say DNA evidence preserved from the crime scene nearly 30 years ago was matched through a national database to Seamons, who is currently incarcerated in Idaho on a kidnapping conviction.
Seamons, however, told detectives he did not know Rebecca and was not with her during the time she disappeared, according to an arrest warrant.
Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said Monday that investigators are still gathering information on how they believe Rebecca and Seamons came in contact with each other, including whether they knew each other, whether he was stalking her or whether it was a chance meeting.
"We're glad that we're able to get at least to this point to give some closure for the victim's family," Smith said of the new charges. "(Rebecca's mother) is happy. There isn't anything that can happen now that will undo what happened to her daughter back in 1983. But the fact that she has some answers is something that I think she feels good about at this point."
On March 2, 1983, Rebecca left her Ogden home at 750 N. 665 East to walk to Edison Elementary, 935 E. 1050 North. At 4:30 p.m. when she did not return home, her parents went to look for her.
They soon learned that Rebecca had not shown up for school at all that day and her friends had not seen her, according to court records. The next day, her body was found wrapped in a tarp in a nearby shed. An autopsy concluded Rebecca died from blunt force trauma.
"It had a big impact on everybody, it was a sad day," recalled Burton, who knew both Rebecca and Seamons.
The case eventually went cold for investigators with no arrests. But in July of 2011, a national computer database reported a match between DNA preserved from the crime scene and an inmate serving time in Idaho, according to court records. Another DNA sample was taken from Seamons in October of 2011 and it too matched with DNA taken from the scene, the arrest warrant states.
Seamons, who is from the Boise area, has been incarcerated about six years for raping a woman near his home. He was scheduled to be released in 2017 if he served his full sentence.
Smith, who was in 9th grade at the time of the murder, said Seamons has been convicted in other states of other various crimes. He did not believe Seamons had been charged with murder anywhere else.
According to a records check, Seamons also has convictions for felony burglary, escape, grand theft, aggravated assault and illegal weapons possession.
He first faced charges in the Utah adult court system in 1986 when he was charged with felony theft by receiving stolen property. The case was ultimately dismissed because of another matter Seamons was involved with in Virginia, according to Utah state court records.Comment on this story
In 1990, Seamons pleaded guilty to felony burglary in exchange for a felony theft charge being dismissed. He was sentenced to the Utah State Prison. He was also convicted on a separate wildlife conviction about the same time and ordered to serve six months in jail The sentence was to run concurrently with his prison sentence, according to court records.
Smith said authorities will now work to have Seamons extradited back to Utah to face the new charges.