DNA Cracks Cold Rape Case
When the investigation began, the DNA sample was unidentifiable. Eventually authorities entered the sample in the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, which compares unidentified DNA samples with known samples. Last month, the Missouri Highway Patrol lab matched the DNA sample. This week, Columbia police went to St. Louis, interviewed Howlett and arrested him.
Today's forensic science reduces the amount of DNA needed to produce evidence in criminal cases.
"Now they can do it on hair follicles, hair roots, skin cells," Himmel explained. "You don't need as much sample to get a CODIS or DNA hit."
Columbia police turned over Howlett to St. Louis authorities. He will be brought back to Boone County later.
Reported by Justin Redeker