Highway patrol announces resolution to 1998 homicides in New Madrid
NEW MADRID - The Missouri State Highway Patrol and New Madrid Sheriff's Office announced Friday they identified Robert Eugene Brashers as the man responsible for the 1998 murders of Sherri and Megan Scherer.
Brashers died in 1999 but in September 2018 officials exhumed his remains, pursuant to a court order. Additional DNA samples were collected and laboratory testing confirmed Brasher's DNA matchs the suspect DNA in the murders.
The bodies of Sherri and Megan Scherer were discovered in their rural home in 1998. Both had been murdered and Megan Scherer had also been sexually assaulted.
Authorities developed a partial DNA profile of the suspect from the Scherer scene. However, the profile lacked enough markers for entry into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
In 2006, significant advances in DNA testing led to evidence from the Scherer murders being resubmitted to the MSHP's Crime Laboratory. Authorities were able to develop a full suspect DNA profile and entered into CODIS, resulting in a match to the 1990 murder of Genevieve Zitricki in South Carolina.
Investigators from South Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri worked together, which led to a CODIS match to a 1997 rape of a 14-year-old in Memphis, TN.
This year, investigators sought the services of Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon), a DNA company that works to establish the relationship between an individual and their ancestors.
Parabon's investigation led to the identification of Brashers as the suspect of the murders. After obtaning DNA samples from Brashers' surviving family members, investigators concluded he was, with very little doubt, responsible for the crimes.
Brashers' criminal history included attempted murder, burglary, impersonating a police officer and unlawful possession of a weapon.