PENSACOLA, FL - May 29, 2020 - According to an online news report published on PNJ.com, the Escambia County Sherriff´s Office arrested a 39 year old man who allegedly killed a man in a 2003 unsolved murder case. The news report states that a 17 year old criminal case was solved when a 39 year old man turned himself in and he was arrested for suspicion of murdering a man back in 2003. The suspect has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the 17 year old “cold” case. He was booked into the Escambia County Jail and he was not given a bail bond.
According to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan, “These cases, as with all cases, are a combination of advances in science and technology, but it also always comes back to having someone in law enforcement who doesn’t give up.”
In 2003, a 24-years-old male got into an automobile with the suspect and they were heading to Mobile, Alabama. This was the last time the victim´s family saw him. The victim´s body was never recovered. The criminal investigation into the victim´s disappearance went cold for over 17 years. Recently, newer technologies were used to find and reanalyze some of the evidence taken from the suspect´s automobile. The evidence collected 17 years ago was successful in obtaining DNA evidence which provided law enforcement with enough probable cause to name the suspect as the primary murder suspect in the case. An arrest warrant was issued and signed by a judge earlier this month. The arrest warrant charged the suspect with homicide.
The arrest report alleges, the suspect picked up the victim at approximately 9 p.m. on May 8, 2003. The victim left his grandmother´s residence located off of Montclair Road in Pensacola, Florida. The car driven by the suspect was a rental car. The car was a rented 2000 Mitsubishi Galant. The car was occupied by three men. In the investigatory documents, one of the other men is classified as being a “witness” and has not been arrested or charged in this case. According to the online news report, an investigating Sherriff´s deputy wrote that this “witness” was probably unaware of the plot to murder the victim. The third passenger is a murder suspect in the case. All details of the three persons involvement in the crime has been redacted from the arrest report as the investigation is open and active.
The criminal case went cold until the Escambia County Sheriff Office found the rental car in 2007 and investigators found traces of blood on the carpet inside the trunk. At the time of the investigation, the DNA technology was limited and due to the size of the sample, the blood stain analyses was unable to yield positive DNA profile matches. However, as the technology advanced over time, the investigators were able to make a positive DNA profile. The DNA was reanalyzed and then the DNA was compared to the victim´s parents´ blood samples. The results of the blood analysis produced a greater than 99.98% likelihood that the blood stain inside the rental car trunk was that of the victim.