Sacto 9-1-1
May 25, 2012
DNA 'cold hits' help identify suspects in unsolved cases

Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully announced Friday that as result of DNA analyses by the District Attorney's crime lab, suspects have been identified in three unsolved cases in recent months.

Evidence from crime scenes and victims is sent to the crime lab where criminalists examine it for DNA. Any DNA profiles found in unsolved cases are entered into the national DNA database of criminal offenders in an attempt to identify suspects.

Since April 2000, 24 cold hit homicide cases were filed in Sacramento County as a result of DNA analysis, according to a District Attorney's Office news release.

Suspects identified most recently include:

• Jeffrey Tucker - The case goes back to November 1984 when a McGeorge Law School security officer reported a body in a car parked near the school. Sacramento Police Officer Jeff Schiele responded and found Floyd Baker dead inside the car. The DNA evidence was analyzed by the District Attorney's crime lab, and Tucker was identified in February of this year through a DNA cold hit, officials said. He is in custody at a California prison and will return to Sacramento to face a murder charge. Schiele is now the district attorney's chief investigator.

• Terry Glen Short - In February 1996, the body of 13-year-old Jessica Sanchez was discovered in Florin Creek Park in south Sacramento. She had been sexually assaulted and murdered. DNA evidence was analyzed by the DA's crime lab, and Short was identified through a DNA cold hit in late 2011. Officials said the process is under way to extradite him from Nevada to Sacramento to face murder and child sex assault charges.

• Bryan Cordell Johnson - In July 2007, Robin Stephens was found dead in the bedroom of her Foothill Farms apartment. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled. DNA evidence analyzed by the crime lab led to a DNA hit in November 2011 that linked Johnson to evidence collected from Stephens' body, according to the news release. Johnson was in a California prison for a June 2011 murder conviction and is now in custody in Sacramento facing a new murder charge.

The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office is one of only four DA's offices in the state that manage a local crime lab. The Sacramento County lab has units specializing in drug analysis; trace evidence, firearms and tool comparison, and arson; DNA and serology; alcohol and drug toxicology; controlled substance analysis; and crime scene analysis.

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