(CBS) — The mom of a murder victim calls it the best mother’s day gift — that her daughter’s attacker is staying behind bars.
Rene Valentin-Matos was ordered held without bond Thursday in the 2009 rape and murder of 12-year-old Jahmeshia Conner.
“He’s in there with no bond. So he won’t be able to harm no one else,” Conner’s mother, Birdie Lewis, said.
Two years after Conners’ death, prosecutors say Valentin-Matos raped a 26-year-old woman he knew in his Pilsen home. After the rape, the woman went to Stroger Hospital, where DNA evidence was taken.
It was entered into a computer database, which led to a match in both cases — and to Valentin-Matos, when DNA was taken from him after his arrest in Minnesota.
Lewis praised the latest victim for coming forward.
“I’m glad she spoke up,” she said.
In 2009, Lewis’ daughter had been reported missing. Fifteen days later, her body was found in a West Englewood alley. Police were criticized for initially treating Connor’s disappearance as a runaway case.
Lewis says she hopes her daughter’s death brings change.
“There’s a lot of kids that’s out there and they label them as runaways. They don’t always run away,” the mother said.
Lewis says this Mother’s Day will be different, because she now has closure, in her daughter’s case.