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Police use DNA, genealogy to arrest suspect in 1985 slaying of Florida mom

Posted: 3:31 PM, Mar 20, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-20 17:46:39-04
Police use DNA, genealogy to arrest suspect in 1985 slaying
Police use DNA, genealogy to arrest suspect in 1985 slaying

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida police department says it solved a 35-year-old homicide by using DNA to find a relative of the alleged killer and then creating a family tree to track him down.

Pensacola detectives arrested 57-year-old Daniel Wells on Wednesday and charged him with the slaying of Tonya McKinley.

The 23-year-old mom was found strangled and sexually assaulted on New Year's Day 1985.

Detectives says DNA found on McKinley partially matched one of Wells' relatives.

They used a family tree to identify him as a possible suspect and used a cigarette butt Wells discarded to get a final match.

In the video below, listen to the emotional reaction from McKinley's son as he learns of the arrest: