2012 Pennsylvania Unsolved Murder Cracked with Evidence from Cigarette Butt and Styrofoam Cup

Julio Torres - Killed in March 2012

A New Jersey resident was apprehended following a Pennsylvania investigation that linked him to a 2012 homicide through advanced DNA forensic techniques and evidence, including a Styrofoam cup found at the crime scene and a cigarette butt discovered at his mother’s home.

The District Attorney’s Office of Berks County, Pennsylvania, disclosed the arrest of 39-year-old Vallis L. Slaughter. He faces charges of first-degree murder in the death of 34-year-old Julio Torres outside the West Reading Diner in March 2012.

John T. Adams, the Berks County District Attorney, reported in a press briefing on Monday that the initial probe into Torres’ death resulted in the apprehension and conviction of 22-year-old Jomain Case at the time.

The investigation revealed that Torres, Case, and another individual were embroiled in a dispute before Torres was killed. Case’s DNA was matched to that found on a Styrofoam cup at the scene, leading to his arrest.

Despite an initial match, further analysis of the Styrofoam cup’s DNA did not align with any database samples. Investigators later found that Slaughter, who was in Reading, Pennsylvania, on the murder night, became a person of interest. The case went cold after leads dried up and no new information surfaced.

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Twelve years post-crime, the investigation was reopened, uncovering a cell phone photo of Slaughter taken on the murder night. Facial recognition technology helped identify him as the alleged shooter.

In December, while residing in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his mother, Slaughter was linked to the murder through DNA evidence from a cigarette butt, matching it to the Styrofoam cup’s DNA. He was arrested at his mother’s residence by Jersey City Police and is currently held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility, awaiting extradition to Berks County.

Slaughter is charged with first- and third-degree murder, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, and possession of crime instruments.

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/dna-cigarette-butt-styrofoam-cup-lead-arrest-unsolved-pennsylvania-sla-rcna145029

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