EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 23, 2012

Salem police solve 1990 murder

SALEM — Nearly 22 years after John Pond Sr. was found fatally stabbed in his Arthur Street home, the case has been solved.

But there will be no arrest or trial because the killer died in 2004, according to N.H. Attorney General Michael Delaney.

Mark Craig was long suspected as the perpetrator, but police could never collect enough evidence to support his arrest, according to a press release just issued by Delaney's office.

The Salem Police Department reopened the investigation into the 26-year-old man's death in 2009. A year later, the state's Cold Case Unit also become involved.

Salem police and State Cold Case Unit officers worked together, conducting interviews, doing forensic testing and investigative work. Ultimately, they collected enough evidence to support Craig's arrest, but he died of a drug overdose years earlier.

The state now regards the case as "solved," but with no arrest or prosecution.

Pond was stabbed multiple times in the chest and abdomen. His sister found his body on the morning of Sept. 19, 1990, in his home at 9 Arthur St. Pond had been confined to a wheelchair since he was shot by a Lawrence police officer in May 1984.

Pond had a criminal record dating back before he was shot in Lawrence — and continuing after he was paralyzed. That lifestyle further complicated the murder investigation because he associated with a number of people whose criminal records surpassed his own and might have had motive to kill him, police said.

While police had several potential suspects, some of Pond's relatives believed from the start that Mark Craig was the killer. Craig had been involved with a woman who had dated Pond's brother — and with whom she had two children. When Michael Pond got out of jail about a week before John Pond's murder, he and the woman rekindled their relationship, although she also was seeing Craig.

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