Dec 6, 2007

Positively matched evidence

A 41-year-old man has been arrested on charges of murder and arson, after his DNA was positively matched to evidence found on a dead woman's body at a burning Jonesboro home.

Timothy Alan Booth, a Hampton felon, who has been in and out of prison since 1985, was not a suspect in the murder of 68-year-old Geneva Strickland until a DNA test, last weekend, connected him to the scene, GBI agents said Wednesday.

GBI investigators and Jonesboro Police detectives were attempting to identify two men seen leaving the scene shortly before the Oct. 31 fire was discovered, but an analyst working overtime ran the DNA through the state's Combined Index DNA System (CODIS) and the sample matched the sample taken from Booth when he was incarcerated in 2002.

"Mr. Booth was not known as a suspect to the GBI or the Jonesboro Police until there was a positive match," said Vernon Keenan, GBI lab supervisor. "We still don't know the full story about what happened in the victim's residence."

Strickland was found in an upstairs bedroom in her home, at 614 Fayetteville Road, early on Nov. 1, when firefighters responded to the blaze. It was immediately determined that the fire was intentionally set and the 68-year-old woman, who lived alone, had come into contact with her killer before the fire began.

"Her body was found bound in the house," said GBI Special Agent Sherry Lang. "There was no way she could get out of the house."

Investigators believe the murder was motivated by robbery.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
DNA found at murder scene, tied to eight-time felon