BAYTOWN, TX (AP) – A breakthrough in a long-stalled murder case in Baytown, Texas, has come in the form of a discarded cigarette butt.
The Beaumont Enterprise reports that Byron Lloyd Collins was picked up by authorities last week at the same complex where 50-year-old Natalia Shal was discovered slain on May 8, 2016.
Crime scene DNA didn’t initially match anything in police databases.
In early 2017, investigators learned about using familial DNA testing to help identify suspects not already in the system.
In June, they got a hit, matching the DNA to Collins’ brother in prison.
Surveilling Collins, police matched his discarded cigarette to the crime scene on Dec. 18.
The 29-year-old has been charged with capital murder and is being held without bond. It is not clear whether he has an attorney.