DNA evidence from a discarded cigarette butt has led to an arrest in a 31-year-old Maine murder case, in which a young woman was slain after leaving a bar late at night, authorities say.
A laboratory matched DNA from one of suspect Jay Mercier’s cigarette butts with sperm found on the body of victim Rita St. Pierre, Maine Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said.
Mercier smoked the cigarette outside his house during an interview with police, who picked up the butt and had it tested, he said.
St. Pierre, 20, was killed after leaving a bar to walk or hitchhike home late on July 4, 1980.
Her partially nude body was found near a road in the small town of Anson, Maine. She had been bludgeoned and run over by a vehicle, according to a state police affidavit.
Mercier, a laborer, was identified as a so-called person of interest after witnesses told investigators they had seen him alone in his truck near the bar when St. Pierre left.
During the initial investigation, although police searched his truck and took prints of its tire treads, they did not find enough evidence to arrest him, the affidavit said.
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Article by: Reuters