Cold Case Murder Solved Thanks To Incredible DNA Technology

Pennsylvania investigators have allegedly used advances in DNA forensics to link a guy from New Jersey to a murder in 2012, leading to his arrest. A cigarette butt recovered at his mother’s residence and a Styrofoam cup found at the crime scene factored heavily toward the solving of the crime.

A Pennsylvania District Attorney, John T. Adams, in Berks County announced 39-year-old Vallis L. Slaughter’s arrest. Julio Torres, 34, was gunned down in March 2012 outside the West Reading Diner.

An inquiry at the time revealed that just before the victim’s tragic death, Torres, Jomaine Case, 22, and another unknown individual got into a violent argument.

At the crime site, detectives found a Styrofoam cup fragment that they tried to match to Case’s DNA.

Further examination of the Styrofoam fragment revealed no similarities to any samples in the database.

As time passed and no fresh clues materialized, the investigation eventually hit a roadblock. About twelve years later, when they decided to investigate the case again, detectives found new evidence—a photo taken with a cell phone showing Slaughter.

The suspect’s acquaintance took the snapshot the same night.

The use of face recognition software allowed investigators to positively identify Slaughter as the individual accused of shooting and killing Torres.

During December last year, Slaughter and his mother lived in Jersey City, New Jersey. Investigators were able to retrieve a tossed cigarette during that time. Researchers were able to connect the DNA on the cigarette butt to the DNA on the bitten Styrofoam cup that had been discovered at the scene of the crime in 2012 using DNA analysis.

Slaughter was apprehended at his mother’s residence last Wednesday by officers from the Jersey City Police Department. He is expected to be extradited to Berks County and is presently held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility.

He was taken into custody last Wednesday by the Jersey City Police Department at his mother’s house. He is awaiting extradition to Berks County.

Additional charges against Slaughter include aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, first- and third-degree murder, and possession of tools of crime.