LAS VEGAS (KSNV/CNN) - North Las Vegas police say attempted identity theft prompted them to reopen a cold case more than 30 years later involving the disappearance of 3-year-old Francillion Pierre.
"In 2017, North Las Vegas Police Department detectives were made aware that someone applied for a birth certificate in Pierre's name,” said Chief Pam Ojeda. “Detectives learned it was someone trying to commit identity theft and did not lead to Pierre."
In August of 1986 Amy Fleming told police her son disappeared while they were at a swap meet in North Las Vegas.
Fleming and her then-fiancé Lee Luster had been arrested and charged with felony child abuse in 1985.
Police said at the time that Francillion was beaten so badly there were 30 to 40 welts found on his body.
After their arrest, the couple gave an exclusive interview to KSNV, 1986 detailing their side of the story.
"We chose to come to Channel 3 with our side of the story once we had spent necessary time with the FBI and North Las Vegas Police Department," Fleming told the station. "We were trying…. I would say that we were trying to protect our son."
Investigators charged the couple with perjury for lying during their investigation.
The couple was found guilty and both served several months in prison where police say Fleming wrote letters to Luster.
Police are now using those letters as evidence against her.
“During the next year and a half, our detectives worked diligently going over the entire case file,” Ojeda said. “Detectives even went as far as piecing together jail letters between Fleming and Luster that had been torn into dozens of small pieces.”
Detectives who worked the original case said they suspected foul play but they just couldn't prove it.
But in December of last year after the new investigation was launched, NLVPD issued an arrest warrant for Fleming and Palm Beach County officers took her into custody.
"Today is an example of justice delayed is not justice denied," said District Attorney Steve Wolfson.
Fleming was arrested on Jan. 29 on an open murder charge in Florida.