In an astonishing discovery, DNA evidence from a discarded cigarette has led Florida police to arrest a man on suspicion of murdering a woman 35 years ago. According to the reports, Daniel Wells (57) was arrested and charged earlier this week at Pensacola for the murder of Tonya McKinley.
As per the reports, McKinley was found strangled and sexually assaulted on New Year’s Day in the year of 1985, leaving behind a baby son. The case has gone unsolved for a long time but police said that DNA from a public database linked Mr. Wells to her murder in Pensacola.
“It is the oldest cold-case arrest in Pensacola history and the first time the familial DNA method has been used to solve a case in Northwest Florida.”https://t.co/y9FMf51s5Y— PhilosophyOfCrime (@CrimePhilosophy) March 20, 2020
Great work by #PensacolaPoliceDepartment, #FloridaDepartmentofLawEnforcement and the investigative genetic genealogy team at #ParabonNanaolabs https://t.co/WeNqHCYtTC #coldcase #forensics #Florida #Pensacola #FDLE #Parabon— Bill Thomas (@BillThomas56) March 19, 2020
Pensacola police, in a statement, said that they interviewed McKinley's friends and family and also spoke to other people who were present at the local restaurant where the 23-year-old was last seen, international media reported.
Police said that their success came after comparing open-source genealogy databases with DNA evidence found near McKinley’s body. The database led Pensacola police to several different people believed to be Mr Wells’ distant cousins. After the discovery, authorities built a family tree to identify suspects and subsequent investigations led to Mr Wells.
The remarkable event has taken many by surprise and people were generous in their praises for the Pensacola Police Department for their dedicated work on the 35-year-old crime.
Congratulations to Pensacola PD and our FDLE scientists for their dedication and work on this case! Florida is safer because of what you do and a family finally has justice!https://t.co/4tMWrTH69g— FDLE (@fdlepio) March 19, 2020
(Pic Credit: @CrimePhilosophy/Twitter)