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Tennessee police: DNA evidence led to arrest in 22-year-old cold case

If you travel 180 miles northwest of Chattanooga and 22 years backwards in time, you will find police baffled by a murder in a suburban Clarksville mobile home park. On a late October afternoon in 1996, a young woman was found dead by her landlord on her living room floor.

The murder went unsolved until recently, when Clarksville police said a man in Arizona had matched a DNA sample taken from the crime victim. The 48-year-old man in the Phoenix area was interviewed and then taken into custody and charged with murder.

According to law enforcement, the Phoenix man was in Clarksville at the time of the 23-year-old’s murder. Police also said the suspect knew the victim and was in her mobile home on the day she died. They also believe they have established that the suspect was the last person to see her alive.

The suspect has apparently waived extradition and will be tried for homicide in Tennessee.

A news article on the case said the young woman was a mother of two – a three-year-old and an infant – who she had entrusted with her mother, who had moved to Texas while the young mom finished her GED.

She was last seen sitting on her porch with the front door open. When the landlord found her the next day, she was wearing no shoes and her TV was on. According to initial reports, her throat had been slashed.

Police initially received tips about the case and interviewed a number of people, but made no arrest.

After the Arizona man was recently arrested on an assault charge, his DNA was entered into the system and a hit was returned: his DNA matched the sample from the murder scene.

Those who face allegations involving violent crimes should speak with a Chattanooga criminal defense attorney experienced in protecting rights and freedoms.

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