A convicted pedophile who ran an international child pornography ring was charged with the 1993 abduction, rape, and killing of a 9-year-old Missouri girl after previously undetected DNA found on her underwear implicated him in the crime, authorities announced Wednesday. Earl Webster Cox, who has been in custody for years because the state deemed him a sexually dangerous person likely to re-offend if set free, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and sodomy in the death of Angie Housman, St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar said at a news conference. Angie disappeared after getting off her school bus on Nov. 18, 1993, less than a block from her home in St. Ann, a St. Louis suburb. Her body was found nine days later in the August A. Busch Wildlife area, which is about 20 miles west of St. Ann.
Investigators said she had been sexually assaulted, starved, and handcuffed, and that she died just hours before she was found, the AP reports. Lohmar said her head was covered in duct tape except for her nose and that she had tried hard to free herself. "She was dehydrated, she was malnourished, and she was alive when she was left out in the woods to die," Lohmar said. Cox, 61, was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force in 1982 after being convicted in a court-martial for molesting four young girls while stationed at a base in Germany. In Jan. 2003, he set up a meeting with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl whom he had asked to become his sex slave. It turned out to be an undercover federal agent. After Cox was arrested, police seized about 45,000 images of child pornography from his computer and discovered that he led an international online child pornography ring known as the "Shadowz Brotherhood." (Last month, a Florida man received a life sentence for another 1993 murder.)