DNA evidence helps solve Dexter burglary - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Dexter, MO

DNA evidence helps solve Dexter burglary

DNA evidence helps solve Dexter burglary
By: CJ Cassidy

DEXTER, Mo. - A burglary victim breathes a sigh of relief after realizing the man who invaded her home is locked up for a long time.

DNA evidence helps Dexter police put another criminal away.

A judge sentenced 45-year-old Tim Swinney of Bernie to 12 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to first degree burglary.

The crime took place only five months ago, but the whole court process couldn't have happened fast enough for the victim.

"He used to work in my yard. He trimmed trees," Imogene Arnold says. The 90-year-old's memory is sharp, and she clearly remembers the shock she felt when Swinney broke into her home.

"I was sitting on the side of my bed, my purse in front of me. The door opened and Tim walked in and without a word reached in and picked up my purse turned and walked down the stairs," she says.

Investigators easily picked up on the trail Swinney left behind him.

"Entering the residence he broke through the glass, cut his left arm, which then left blood throughout the house," detective Trevor Pulley with the Dexter Police Department says.

Then there was the beer Swinney swigged from before the break in. Police found two cans just outside the house. Using saliva swabs and blood smears investigators soon nabbed their suspect.

" In a lot of cases you'll find soda cans, beer bottles cigarette items we get trace evidence off of. So it's stupid to leave trace evidence yes, but a lot of instances, the suspect sits outside smoking and drinking," Pulley says.

"I was surprised - not used to something like that. I've lived here about 100 years,' Arnold laughs, and "never had any trouble."

Now, a judge in Bloomfield makes sure she'll have no more trouble from Tim Swinney.

He's going to prison for 12 years.

Since then Imogene Arnold's changed all her locks, and keeps all her doors locked at all times.

Her sister tells me even though Arnold stayed with her for a few days after the burglary, she soon returned home.

No intruder was going to keep her away. Arnold also told police she believes there were two other men with Swinney at the time of the burglary, but so far police don't have any other suspects.

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