FL Man Drops Cigarette Butt, Faces Life In Prison

“Kidnapping is a violent crime that is charged as a first degree felony offense in Florida, and a defendant convicted of this offense may face up to 30 years to life in state prison.” – Michael Mirer, criminal defense attorney,  South Florida

Fox News – A Florida man was arrested Wednesday in the 1998 kidnapping and rape of a 22-year-old woman, investigators said.

James Byrd, now 60, was arrested on charges of armed kidnapping and sexual battery.

Investigators used genetic genealogy to link Byrd to the March 1998 incident, Tampa police said.

Byrd was charged with armed kidnapping and sexual battery in the 22-year-old case.

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Byrd, then 38, had offered a ride in his blue pickup truck to a woman he saw walking. The woman agreed.

Byrd then pulled out a six-inch knife and threatened the woman before raping her and leaving her by the roadside.

The woman gave police a description of the man, and DNA evidence was collected and preserved at the time.

In 2015, the DNA was linked to two other sexual assault investigations from 1999. However, investigators still could not identify a suspect.

In September, forensic scientists identified Byrd as a possible match using genealogical testing, the reports said. Investigators then took a closer look at Byrd, following him last month to a doctor’s office, where they collected a cigarette butt he threw on the ground.

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Investigators tested the discarded cigarette and the DNA profile matched the evidence preserved from the 1998 case … Read more. 

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