Officer cracks Memphis cold case

Clyde Chalmers, accused in the death of Memphian Almeater Snell, made his initial appearance in a Memphis courtroom Tuesday.  Chalmers evaded police for nearly two decades before he was recently arrested, after the police work of Officer Alexander McGowan.  McGowan is credit with solving the case, that happened seven years before he even joined the force.

Clyde Chalmers was the key suspect in the Snell's 1989 killing.  Investigators say Chalmers broke into the 74-year-old woman's home and shot her numerous times, though police say the bullets were actually meant for Snell's granddaughter.

"The daughter was dating Mr. Chalmers, and Mr. Chalmers came in looking for the daughter and things went bad from there," McGowan said.

One year ago this month, McGowan was contacted by a friend who knew Almeater Snell's granddaughter.  McGowan made it his mission to track down Chalmers, who disappeared right after the murder. He did most of his investigating on his own time.

"I went to the neighborhood at least once or twice a week, and tried to stake out the house, but never got any solid leads," he said.

"McGowan even staked out Chalmer's mother's funeral, and then got a tip on his location.  Police arrested him last Tuesday in a Memphis home."

"It was very, very good feeling," McGowan said. "I didn't have to keep chasing him anymore."

McGowan is sure he got the right guy, and that he can close the file on another Memphis cold case.