The grisly murder of a 78-year-old woman was solved
by DNA testing and prints on toy pieces that were scattered at the scene. Cops say the killer’s child was left to play in the victim’s living room while dad carried out the ‘evil’ deed.
Toys left by a killer’s 5-year-old son and DNA evidence have helped solve a 23-year-old murder mystery in suburban Utah.
Lucille Johnson, a 78-year-old grandmother, was strangled and beaten to
death inside her mobile home in 1991. Her killing went without justice
until investigators with Salt Lake City’s Unified Police Department
recently reopened the cold case.
Tissue samples from underneath Johnson’s fingernails were sent for DNA
testing, which wasn’t available at the time of her killing. Lego
building blocks found strewn around Johnson’s living room were retested
The DNA testing identified John Sansing, 47, who is already in an Arizona prison for a similar murder, authorities said, KUCW-TV reported Thursday.
The Lego fingerprints belong to Sansing’s son, who was 5 at the time
and whose fingerprints were not on file at the time of the slaying.
“Occasionally we encounter people who are evil,” said Sheriff Jim
Winder. “The individual who perpetrated this nothing short of that,” he
Sansing has been charged with capital murder in the case.
Winder said investigators had spoken to Sansing’s son, who remembered
accompanying his father and had been “traumatized” by those memories for
the past two decades.
Authorities said the boy had also been brought to the Arizona killing by his father.
“I am so grateful, so very grateful to the police department for the
work that they’ve done,” said Shirley England, Johnson’s daughter. “I
don’t think closure is the right word because you never close something
like this. It’s been a terrible thing in our life.”
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