DNA test solves cheerleader’s murder after 46 years

Carla Walker & Rodney McCoy

It has been nearly 50 years since the murder of 17-year-old Carla Jan Walker who was killed in 1974 after attending a Valentine’s Day dance. Several decades later, investigators have arrested the man they believe is responsible for the killing of the Texas cheerleader. Glen Samuel McCurley, 77, was arrested on September 22 by authorities, NBC affiliate KXAS-TV reported.

Walker and her boyfriend Western Hills High School football quarterback Rodney McCoy had attended a Valentine’s Day dance on February 16, 1974. Post the dance, they had met some friends and then stopped by a Fort Worth bowling alley.

McCoy has always stood by his story that a man had approached the couple as they were sitting inside his car and had pointed a gun at him. He was then beaten unconscious and when he woke up, his girlfriend was nowhere to be found. According to investigators, McCurley was the one to approach the couple and had kidnapped Walker, holding her hostage for a few days. Three days after she was abducted, her body was located in a ditch and her clothes had been ripped off…

Authorities believed that Walker was sexually assaulted, strangled and beaten…They were able to obtain some DNA evidence from Walker’s clothing, which were sent to a private lab leading to a full DNA profile of the suspect. This led the authorities to McCurley, a truck driver, who had already been named as a possible suspect in Walker’s murder case.

It was the latest advancements in DNA procedures that made the case. DNA and genealogy technology used works in both ways, Profiles and catches the guilty and exonerates the innocent.

Othram, the private lab, says its technology has revolutionised the field of forensic evidence and made what was once seen as impossible — building a solid profile from degraded, tiny traces of DNA — a reality…

After building a genetic profile in a matter of weeks, they can then trawl DNA databases to find matches for both unidentified victims and perpetrators.

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