Suspects in Two Unsolved Murder Cases Asked for DNA
April 1, 2003 at 2:27 AM CST - Updated June 19 at 4:01 PM
Suspects in Two Unsolved Murder Cases Asked for DNA By: Amy Jacquin
(Cape Girardeau, MO)--Suspects in two 21-year-old unsolved murder cases must give DNA samples to the Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor. One suspect is refusing to give his DNA sample, but a judges ruling upholds the order.
Mildred Wallace, 65, was found shot to death in June of 1982. Margie Call, 57, was strangled in January of that year. Both lived in South Cape Girardeau. And investigators say there are other similarities.
Detectives Jim Smith and Joe Tado showed their thick case files. About a dozen suspects surfaced, but there was never enough evidence to charge anyone. However, the killer or killers left behind physical evidence. And since 1995, prosecutors can subpeona DNA evidence with "reasonable suspicion" only.
They plan to get DNA samples from all the suspects, and compare it to the physical evidence left at the scene. One man tried to block the request in court, but Judge Gary Kamp upheld the subpeona. We're chosing not to use his name, because so far he's not charged with any crime.
"He fits the profile of a young, white male who lived in the neighborhood where the women were killed, who was familiar with the foot paths," Prosecutor Morley Swingle explains why there's enough suspecion to force a DNA test. "Actually, this suspect talked to detectives doing the investigation, and asked which window do you think the killer went in? And were there any footprints left?"
"Judge Kamp felt the intrusion factor was fairly small, you just take a swab and wipe it inside the mouth," Swingle continues. "He compared that to the probative value... if it matches, you have solved an unsolved case with mathmatical certainty... if it doesn't match, it rules it out, and you won't spend any more time on it before moving on to someone else."
The suspect fighting the DNA test has until April 3rd at 9 a.m. to either give his sample, appeal Judge Kamp's decision, or go to jail for contempt of court.
Cape detectives hope this action on a cold case will inspire someone to come forward with information they held back years ago.
Since the SEMO Crime Lab is in the process of moving, it won't be handling the testing. They'll be sent either to the Missouri Highway Patrol, which can take up to a year for results... or to private labs in St. Louis or Kansas City, where it would likely take six to eight weeks.