Wed, Mar 09, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Police solve cold cases using DNA and fingerprints

Staff writer, with CNA

Taipei police recently solved decades-old criminal cases by comparing the DNA and fingerprints of suspects in new cases with samples from cases that had remained open for many years.

In one cold case, a 69-year-old man has been linked to two unsolved rape and burglary cases that occurred 20 years ago. He was arrested by police in Taipei on Thursday last week.

The man, identified only by his surname, Shen (沈), was identified as a suspect in a July 1996 case in which someone broke into a home on Taipei’s Minsheng E Road and raped a pregnant woman living there before making off with valuables, police said.

In December that same year, Shen allegedly committed another burglary in a household on Nanjing E Road and molested a teenage girl living there, police said.

Although police collected fingerprints and bodily fluid samples at both crime scenes, the cases went unsolved at the time and the suspect was never caught.

Shen was arrested in 2009, 2013, 2014, last year and this year in relation to other burglaries, but he was not linked to the two 1996 cases until police compared DNA and fingerprint evidence from his most recent case with evidence collected in cold cases.

In another case, police in January arrested a New Taipei City resident after tying him to a case from April 1997, in which the owner of a computer repair store in Taipei’s Wenshan District (文山) was killed and NT$60,000 was taken from the store.

The suspect, surnamed Jao (饒), who was only 14 years old at the time of the murder, was identified as the likely assailant in the 1997 case after police re-examined a bloody fingerprint collected from the crime scene.

Jao was indicted by prosecutors on Friday last week.

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