NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - "Fifteen years ago I lost my best friend," said Nyetta Chapman, talking about her mother, 44-year-old Edwina Shelton who was murdered in 1999.
"We loved her."
On Wednesday, Chapman said she received a phone call from the North Charleston Police Department, a phone call she says she had been praying for.
Police told Chapman they were charging 51-year-old Anthony Andrew Heyward in her mother's death.
Officials with the North Charleston Police Department say DNA evidence from the crime scene that was resubmitted in 2014 positively identified Heyward, who had been behind bars since 2002 on charges of kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
"I knew this day would come," Chapman said as she held back tears. "The North Charleston Police Department never gave up since the beginning. They said that this was not going to continue to be an unsolved murder and it's not unsolved anymore. It's solved."
According to an affidavit, Heyward struck Shelton in the head with a blunt object on Dec. 10, 1999, resulting in her death.
"She was my best friend and she did everything for me," Chapman said."I never thought it would happen like that."
Chapman said the one thing that kept her going was something her mother used to tell her long ago.
"She taught me to have faith in God and not to give up...ever," Chapman said."And I never gave up. I knew this day was coming."
Heyward was in court on Wednesday where he was charged with Shelton's death. Chapman was present during the hearing, which she says couldn't have been possible without the support of her children.
"I didn't know what I was going to see," Chapman said. "I thought I was going to be afraid, but I wasn't. The part that really hurt me was the memories of talking about her."
Chapman said she thanks God and the North Charleston Police Department for seeing justice finally done.
"So many names, I can't remember everybody," said Chapman, who mentioned Deputy Chief Scott Deckard and Police Spokesman Spencer Pryor from the North Charleston Police Department. "I am so thankful to those guys...Because they promised me and they said they would never give up and they didn't.
"[Heyward] took her body, but he could never take her spirit from the people who loved her," Chapman said. "The monster, or whatever you want to call him, is behind bars and will be for the rest of his life."