A man who has just completed serving most of a 15-year prison sentence in Florida has confessed to fatally stabbing a pregnant mother and son in Alabama in 2002, authorities said Friday.
Lewis Ladon Spivey, 39, was taken into custody after his release on Tuesday and charged with murder in the murders of Monica Rollins, 23, and Dalton Rollins, 6, according to prison records and a statement from the Heflin Police Department.
Monica Rollins was 8.5 months pregnant at the time of her death, Heflin Police Capt. Scott Bonner told reporters on Friday.
Spivey appears to have been released earlier from a Florida prison where he was serving time in 2010 on unrelated charges of robbery and aggravated assault, prison records show.
Since his recent arrest, Spivey has cooperated with authorities on the murder allegations “and has since provided a full confession in which he described the events that day and took full responsibility” for the murders of Rollins and his son, according to the police statement.
Bonner said they were killed days before their bodies were discovered on September 16, 2002, in the rural community of Heflin, about 76 miles east of Birmingham.
A 2-year-old son of Monica Rollins was discovered unharmed in a closet inside the family trailer, according to Alabama Cold Case Advocacy, a local organization that tracks unsolved deaths.
Bonner, who led the cold case investigation, described Spivey and Monica Rollins as “acquaintances” and said they had a relationship, but did not provide further details or a possible motive.
Bonner gave few details about what led to the case being halted, saying only that the department received a grant for DNA analysis and several items were processed by a state lab and private laboratories in Canada.
One of the hardest parts of reopening the case was approaching Rollins’ family and asking if they approved, Bonner said.
“They’ve been through hell for the past 20 years,” he said. “I wanted to bring closure to them. Along with that, I had the part of me that thought, if we fail at that, we just opened up those old wounds.”
Bonner added, “Anyone with a heart, who has spoken to this family, has seen the pain.”
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com