Decades Old Cold Case Gets Huge Break With DNA Evidence - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Decades Old Cold Case Gets Huge Break With DNA Evidence

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YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash-- The case reads something like a TV crime drama, with evidence sitting cold for years. The murder of Jenece Marie Wilson. Over 20 years later a grant allowed detectives to send the crime scene evidence to a private lab for testing.

A Texas lab then pulled DNA from the evidence, which consisted of clothing. It connected Samuel Posada, a 41-year-old man from Toppenish. Posada was a Toppenish High School classmate with Jenece Marie Wilson. 

During the summer of 1987 Wilson's body was found in an orchard outside of Granger. She was beaten so badly the coroner had to use dental records to identify her body. As Yakima Sheriff's Office detectives originally investigated the case, Posada never came up as a suspect.

Now decades later technology has helped them reopen this case. "[It] really does reach a point where time begins to really work in our favor that there will be some advances um that we can take advantage of," said Chief Detective, Stewart Graham, YSO.

Posada has been near-by the whole time, living in Hermiston, Oregon. Deputies arrested him Wednesday with the help of his parole officer, the Texas Rangers, U.S. Marshals and Umatilla County Sheriff's detectives.

Posada's name surfaced because he was registered in an Oregon DNA data base for crime defendants. His criminal history includes drugs, robbery and probation violations. 

YSO is now working with Umitilla County to begin the extradition process so Posada can go to trial in Yakima. He faces possible charges of aggravated first-degree murder and rape.