A California man was arrested after his DNA was found in fecal matter left behind in the toilet of a home he allegedly burglarized.
Andrew David Jensen, 42, was arrested after forensic analysts determined the fecal matter found in an unflushed toilet belonged to him, according to KTLA. The burglary happened in 2016 but the evidence linking Jensen did not lead to an arrest until July 2017.
Local police responded to the scene of the burglary in Thousand Oaks, gathering evidence and any potential items that may contain the suspect's DNA. They then noticed fecal matter in an unflushed toilet in one of the bathrooms of the home and used that to gather a potential DNA sample.
Authorities at the scene took that sample of the fecal matter and submitted it to the Forensic Services Bureau of Ventura County for processing, according to the Ventura County Star. Once the DNA was extracted from the sample it was submitted to the Combined DNA Information System to look for a potential match.
The California Department of Justice informed local police that the fecal matter found in the toilet was a DNA match to Jensen, who was quickly arrested.
Ventura County Detective Tim Lohman told The Associated Press that this was the first burglary case in his memory in which fecal matter was the determining evidence.
"When people think of DNA evidence, they usually think of hair samples or saliva," Lohman said.
Jensen was arrested on suspicion of first-degree residential burglary, a felony in the state of California. Bail was set at $70,000.
Ventura County police used fecal matter found at the scene of a crime as one of the key determinants in capturing Marco Casillas, who was wanted for the 1997 murder of a teenage boy in his home after a botched burglary attempt, reports the Ventura County Star.
Casillas entered the home of Gail Shirley and used her 16-year-old son, Jake Bush, as cover to help him escape. When Shirley called police to report the burglary, she heard Bush's screams for help as he was stabbed by Casillas. Bush died from multiple stab wounds later that day.
The case remained cold for several years after Bush's death, as DNA testing technology was still under development. DNA evidence was found in fecal matter in a laundry basket, eventually leading to Casillas' capture and conviction in February 2017, after testing became available.
Casillas was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.