Did detectives solve this cold 26-year-old case? – Daily movie
Mary Catherine Edwards was murdered at her home in Beaumont, Texas on January 13, 1995. She was sexually assaulted, her hands were handcuffed behind her back, and then drowned in her bathroom. The police have never been able to find the person responsible for his death, until now.
Due to advances in DNA technology, new DNA tests have given positive results and a suspect has been arrested. Clayton Bernard Foreman, now sixty-one, was highlighted as a suspect in the case thanks to DNA and a genealogy website investigators were using to examine the accused murderer’s family tree.
The suspect actually knew Edwards. They went to the same high school and Edwards was a bridesmaid at Foreman’s wedding. Foreman and his wife divorced two years before Edwards died. Here’s everything we know about the death of Mary Catherine Edwards and her connection to the suspect, Clayton Bernard Foreman.
At the time of his death, Edwards was thirty-one. The single teacher lived in Beaumont in a townhouse and was a respected name in her town’s educational community. She was last seen alive on the evening of Friday, January 13, 1995. Her parents tried to contact her the next day, but she did not respond.
It wasn’t like Edwards ignoring phone calls and his parents suspected something was wrong. They decided to go see her at home. When they arrived, they found her dead in her bathroom, her hands cuffed behind her back and her face in the tub.
It was revealed that she was raped before being murdered. His case remained unsolved for 25 years.
In April 2020, investigators working on the case began using a genealogy tool that has recently helped resolve cold cases. This tool allowed them to determine that the killer definitely belonged to the family in question. It took a while to eliminate some people, but eventually the killer showed up.
Authorities decided to focus on Foreman after learning that he had already been convicted of raping a classmate in the 1980s. Similarities presented with the way Edwards was tied in handcuffs. At that time, Foreman pleaded guilty to the charges against him and was sentenced to three years probation.
Edwards’ murderer left DNA evidence of sperm at her house the night of the crime. Ohio Police extracted DNA from the garbage Foreman left on the sidewalk outside his house. DNA collected from her home matched semen left in Edwards’ row house the night she was killed. Foreman was arrested last week.
Foreman is now being held in Ohio pending his extradition to Texas, where he will face murder charges. For now, Foreman just needs to plead in this particular case. A person convicted of first degree murder in Texas carries a maximum jail term of ninety-nine years. In Texas, rape is a second degree felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison.
Genealogy and crime resolution sites
As more people turn to genealogy websites such as GEDmatch, 23andme, and Ancestry.com, the information voluntarily uploaded there by members of the public is becoming a critical tool in solving crime.
As family histories are built on these websites, investigators can use them to find DNA matches that were previously unmatched. Once an investigator can draw a family tree to focus on, the process of elimination can begin. Who of the family was alive when the crime was committed? Who is still alive now? Who was too young to have committed the crime? Eventually enough people are eliminated and a few can be investigated fully.
Recently, high-profile unresolved cases like the Golden State Killer were resolved using this same method.