Scratches to his neck and arm helped implicate an ex-con in the October strangulation death of a St. Paul woman, according to charges filed Monday.
Corey D. Thomas, 31, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree murder after an analysis found that a DNA mixture taken from the victim's fingernails could rule out 99.97 percent of the general population, but not Thomas, the charges say.
The body of his girlfriend, Megan Neely, 27, was found Oct. 17 in a crawl space in her home in the 400 block of Milton Street N. Earlier, she had told another man -- her daughter's father -- that she had planned to break up with Thomas and "expected drama," the complaint states.
Thomas, who had a violent past, had been released from prison last June. On Oct. 19, two days after Neely's body was found, he was arrested in Miami and identified by police as a "person of interest" in her death.
He has been in custody at the state prison in Rush City since authorities brought him back to Minnesota from Florida, the county attorney's office said in a statement Monday.
According to the charges, Thomas told investigators that the scratches on his neck and arm were from cuts he suffered at a warehouse where he worked. But a manager there reported seeing no line employees suffer neck injuries while Thomas was on the job.
Bail on the second-degree murder charge has been set at $500,000.