Two years after charges were dropped against the only known suspect in the murders of two teenage tanning salon employees, the case remains one of Nashville’s most notorious unsolved crimes.
Metro police said Tiffany Campbell and Melissa Chilton were found dead Feb. 22, 1996 inside Exotic Tan for Men, an adult business on Church Street. Detectives determined the two employees, both 18 years old, had been stabbed nearly 100 times.
“They were brutally, brutally murdered,” Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Pam Anderson explained to News 2. “They were defenseless and there was obviously a lot of hatred and passion behind the killing.”
According to Anderson, there was “no forced entry” and video surveillance had been removed and taken from the business.
Seventeen years after the murders, police appeared confident they had their killer. While serving time in a California prison for a string of robberies, Patrick Streater, Campbell’s ex-boyfriend was indicted in 2013 on two counts of premeditated first-degree murder.
As Streater’s case moved slowly through the court system, his mother, Patricia Streater-McFadden maintained his innocence.
“When he was first indicted, he told me he broke down and started crying. Just imagine being accused of something you know you didn’t do,” Streater-McFadden told News 2 in 2015.
Five years after Streater’s arrest — June 2018 — the state announced it would drop the charges against him. At the time, the District Attorney’s Office said “after scientific testing and DNA analysis, it would not be appropriate to take this matter to trial.”
Melissa Chilton’s mother, Gail said hope was not lost.
“This is not the end for me. It’s not over,” she told News 2 in 2018. “There’s nothing else I can say or do. It is what it is. I know it will be solved one day. I just know it. How and when I don’t know, but I got faith.”
Two years later, there have been no additional arrests and no new information has been released.
“There are numerous witnesses that can come forward and we’re hopeful,” Anderson explained. “Justice never sleeps. It may be delayed. It may take more work, but justice never sleeps.”
“I have not given up,” Gail Chilton added. “When the time is right, I will face my daughter’s killer in a courtroom and justice will be served. Keep the faith.”
Anyone with information on the crime is urged to contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.
News 2 is digging deeper into Tennessee’s most notorious unsolved cases.