Society

1990 Murder Case Solved Through DNA Testing, Killer Already Executed

| by Will Hagle

After 23 years, a murder has been solved. The catalyst for the breakthrough in discovery is, as it has been in so many recent cases, DNA testing.

The unsolved murder involved Ivelisse Berrios-Berguerisse, a 23-year-old Miami woman who was found killed by strangulation on Nov. 27, 1990. 

The culprit, however, is likely already dead. Newly-conducted DNA testing linked a man named Oba Chandler to Berrios-Berguerisse’s murder. 

Chandler was arrested in 1994 for another strangulation crime, in which he was found guilty of raping and killing a woman and her two daughters. Chandler was executed for the crime in 2011 at the age of 65, Fox News reports. 

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The Berrios-Berguerisse case was solved by detectives Brian Koenig and Dan Cucchi. The latter detective explained how the DNA testing process has vastly improved since Berrios-Berguerisse’s body was found.

“Back in 1990, rape kits and the DNA collection process were not the same but now it’s way more advanced. You can actually take a smaller sample and through the new technology they can develop potential profiles and suspect DNA, where in the past they could not,” Cucchi said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. 

Because DNA testing technology was limited in the early 1990s, many cases were left unsolved or resulted in the wrongful incarceration of individuals. The technology is now a much more trusted, valid form of identification at crime scenes than it was twenty years ago. 

The Innocence Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to proving currently incarcerated individuals’ innocence through new DNA testing. The organization has already successfully freed several inmates that had been jailed for decades despite their DNA clearly not being involved at the crime scene. 

DNA testing should only improve in the future, resulting in more honest and legitimate crime investigations.