Cigarette leads police to Florida cold case murder suspect
Daniel Wells, 57, was arrested and charged in Pensacola earlier this week for the murder of Tonya McKinley Ms McKinley was found strangled and sexually assaulted on New Year’s Day in 1985, leaving behind a baby son
Her case has gone unsolved, but police say DNA from a public database linked Mr Wells to her murder in Pensacola.
“I didn’t really know if this [arrest] would ever happen,” Ms McKinley’s sister, Renee, told NBC News. “I didn’t really think this would happen in my lifetime, not after 35 years
Why a mother fought for her daughter’s killer to be freed
In a statement, Pensacola police said they interviewed her friends and family. Police also spoke with other people who were celebrating New Year’s Eve at a local restaurant where the 23-year-old was last seen Despite having a good bit of physical evidence and dozens of interviews, over time, the trail went cold,” police said. “In the meantime, a baby boy grew up without a mother, parents buried their daughter without knowing justice, and a killer was walking around free”.
How did police trace And How Did He Caught
Their success came after comparing open-source genealogy databases with DNA evidence found near McKinley’s body. Detectives in California used the same method to find Joseph James DeAngelo, a suspect in the infamous Golden State Killer cases