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Continued: Old crimes can't elude new DNA science

  • Article by: SHANNON PRATHER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 9, 2014 - 7:04 AM

Haynes, accused of raping the 82-year-old woman, has a lengthy criminal history. That’s why police and prosecutors chose to move forward with the case even after the victim’s death. “This one really offended us,” Freeman said.

The most high-profile case to be resolved was the oldest: the 1980 slaying of Mary C. Steinhart, a successful young woman found dead in her Minneapolis apartment. Robert Skogstad was arrested in Kansas in 2012 and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last fall.

There are still 240 unidentified DNA samples harvested during the two-year sweep that remain in the national database. They are compared to every new offender profile entered into the system. Last week, investigators were notified of two more new DNA matches in two old rapes. DNA found on a sock in a 1990s stranger rape matched an offender in Omaha and DNA found in another case matched DNA found in a ­Florida assault.

“It’s amazing to me we are still getting cold case hits today,” said Minneapolis Police Lt. Martin.

Redding, who has prosecuted sex crime for much of his career, said there is some satisfaction at nabbing people years later.

“People who have been victimized, they need a voice. We try to give them a voice,” ­Redding said.

 

Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804

 

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