Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

February 01, 2004
Print Comment RSS

DNA Database Helps Clear Two "Cold" Homicide Cases

The Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- DNA evidence has linked two prison inmates to unrelated Wichita killings.

Prosecutors credited a nationwide DNA database with allowing them to file first-degree murder charges Friday against Ray F. Garcia and Paul D. Drayton, who is serving time in Texas.

Garcia, who is serving time for kidnapping and rape at the El Dorado Correctional Facility, is accused in the November 1995 death of Phylis Eldridge, 73. Prosecutors say Garcia, 34, killed the woman after blindfolding and raping her in her home.

Drayton is accused in the May 2002, stabbing death of James Mayberry, 57, in his home. Drayton, 34, is in a Dallas jail for robbery.

"This is a very exciting time in law enforcement," District Attorney Nola Foulston said. "Years ago, we didn't have these kinds of tools."

Foulston said DNA profiles were prepared based on evidence found at the scenes of the crimes. The profiles were sent to the FBI where they were entered into a database that contains offender profiles, most of which were taken from inmates entering prison, and profiles of evidence gathered at other crime scenes.

Police Lt. Ken Landwehr said investigators were notified of the computer matches last summer. The DNA of both suspects was retested, he said, and detectives began re-interviewing witnesses as they put their cases together.

The FBI database has helped Wichita authorities solve one other homicide. In the first case, the system led detectives to Douglas Belt, who is charged with capital murder in the death of Lucille Gallegos, whose decapitated body was found in a west Wichita apartment in June 2002. Belt also is charged with several rapes in Kansas and Illinois.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

"It's very, very powerful," said Tim Rohrig, director of the forensic science center. "I think we're going to continue to see more" cases.

PoliceOne Offers

Sponsored by

P1 on Facebook

Connect with PoliceOne

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google

Get the #1 Police eNewsletter

Police Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
See Sample